Follow this link to skip to the main content
  NASA Logo
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
California Institute of Technology
+ View the NASA Portal
Search JPL
JPL Home Earth Solar System Stars and Galaxies Technology
JPL Robotics
Search Robotics
Home Page
Image Gallery
Video Gallery
Personal Page Publications Image Gallery Videos
Paul G. Backes' Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 82-105
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
Click here
Member of:
Robotic Manipulation and Sampling Group

Paul G. Backes, Ph.D.
Group Supervisor
(Full description>>)

Biography (more>>)
Paul Backes is group supervisor of the Mobility and Manipulation group in the Mobility and Robotic Systems Section at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, where he has been since 1987. His current activities focus on planetary manipulation, sample acquisition, and sample handling. He received the BSME degree from U.C. Berkeley in 1982, MSME in 1984 and Ph.D. in 1987 in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University. Dr. Backes received the 1993 NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal for his contributions to space telerobotics, 1993 Space Station Award of Merit, Best Paper Award at the 1994 World Automation Congress, 1995 JPL Technology and Applications Program Exceptional Service Award, 1998 JPL Award for Excellence, 1998 NASA Software of the Year Award Sole Runner-up, and 2004 NASA Software of the Year Award. He has served as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Magazine

Education (more>>)
Ph.D., M.E., Purdue University, 1987
M.S., M.E., Purdue University, 1984
B.S., M.E., University of California at Berkeley, 1982

Professional Experience (more>>)
- Group Supervisor of Mobility and Manipulation Group, in Autonomy and Control section, JPL, 2005 - continuing
- Technical Group Leader, Telerobotics Research & Applications Group, JPL (1991-2005).
- Lead for 2003 NASA Mars Exploration Rover mission Science Activity Planner tool development.
- SBIR subtopic manager for robotics subtopics (1994-2000.

Research Interests (more>>)
Automated instrument placement from planetary landers and rover. Automated planetary manipulation for sample acquisition and handling and in-situ resource utilization. On-orbit robotics and telerobotics.

Selected Publications (more>>)

P. Backes, A. Diaz-Calderon, M. Robinson, M. Bajracharya, D. Helmick, "Automated Rover Positioning and Instrument Placement," IEEE Aerospace Conference, 2005, March 5-12, 2005.

P. Backes, J. Norris, M. Powell, M. Vona, R. Steinke, J. Wick., "The Science Activity Planner for the Mars Exploration Rover Mission: Fido Field Test Results," Proceedings IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, Montana., March 6-13, 2004.

P. Backes, "Dual-arm Supervisory and Shared Control Task Description and Execution," Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 12, 1994, 29-54.

Privacy/Copyright Image Policy Glossary Sitemap Feedback Contact Us
  National Aeronautics and Space Administration website.