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Adnan Ansar


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 198-235
Pasadena, CA 91109





Member of:

347P - Aerial and Orbital Image Analysis

Adnan Ansar, Ph.D.

Group Supervisor


Adnan Ansar supervises the Aerial and Orbital Image Analysis Group. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the GRASP Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania in 2001. His research resulted in a novel linear solution of the n-point/n-line pose estimation problem. Since starting at JPL in 2002, he has worked on calibration (including development of an unsurveyed calibration routine), stereo, landmark detection and recognition, pose estimation aspect of various pinpoint landing tasks, cross-modal data registration and DEM generation from CTX and HiRISE imagery.


Ph.D. in Computer Science, 2001 (U. Penn.)
M.S. in Computer Science, 1998 (U. Penn.)
M.A. in Mathematics, 1993 (U. Penn.)
B.A. in Physics and Mathematics, 1993 (U. Penn.)

Professional Experience

2002-2010: Member of Technical Staff, Computer Vision Group, JPL
2010-2018: Member of Technical Staff, Maritime and Aerial Perception System Group, JPL
2018-present: Supervisor, Aerial and Orbital Images Analysis Group, JPL

Research Interests

Calibration. Stereo vision. Feature detection and recognition. Cross modal image registration. Structure from motion.


  1. A. Ansar Y. Cheng, "Spacecraft Localization from Descent Imagery," Journal of Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, Special Issue on Mapping Mars, 17 September 2020.
  1. A. Johnson, A. Ansar, L. Matthies, N. Trawny, A.I. Mourikis, S.I. Roumeliotis, "A General Approach to Terrain Relative Navigation for Planetary Landing," AIAA Infotech at Aerospace Conf., 30 August 2019.
  1. S. DeLong, A. Pickering, A. Donnellan, C. Scott, A. Ansar, "Exploring possibilities in measurement of surface deformation from high resolution topographic data: Earthquakes, landslides, and fault creep in California," AGU Fall Meeting, 01 January 2018.
  2. A. Donnellan, J. Green, A. Ansar, et al., "Geodetic Imaging of Fault Systems from Airborne Platforms: UAVSAR and Structure from Motion," IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, 7878-7881, 01 January 2018.
  1. M.R. Jahanshani, F.C. Chen, A. Ansar, C. Padgett, D. Bayard, "Accurate and robust reconstruction of mis-associated features for aerial sensing," Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, 31 (6), 01 January 2017.
  2. A. Donnellan, J. Green, A. Ansar, J. Aletky, M. Glasscoe, "Imaging of Earthquake Faults using Small UAVs as a Pathfinder for Air and Space Observations," IEEE Aerospace Conference, 01 January 2017.
  1. M. Ono, B. Rothrock, E. Almeida, A. Ansar, R. Otero, A. Huertas, M. Heverley, "Data-driven surface traversability analysis for Mars 2020 landing site selection," IEEE Aerospace Conference, 01 January 2016.
  1. A. Trebi-Ollennu, A. Rankin, Y. Cheng, A. Ansar, et al., "Advances in Space Robotics Autonomy," Computational Intelligence in Aerospace Sciences, AIAA, 325-372, 01 January 2014.
  2. A. Donnellan, B. Bills, J. Green, S. Jones, R. Knight, J. Goguen, E. DeJong, A. Ansar, et al.,, "Studying Mountain Glacier Processes Using a Staring Instrument," IEEE Aerospace Conference, 01 January 2014.
  1. A. Donnellan, J. Green, B. Bills, J. Goguen, A. Ansar, et al., "Global Monitoring of Mountain Glaciers Using High-resolution Staring Imaging from the International Space Station," Fall AGU Meeting, 01 January 2013.
  1. K. Wagstaff, J. Panetta, A. Ansar, "Dynamic Landmarking for Surface Feature Identification and Change Detection," ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology, 01 January 2012.
  1. M.P. Hoffer, R. Greeley, K. Wagstaff, A. Ansar, "Transient Aeolian Features Detected Autonomously in HiRISE Images of El Dorado, Columbia Hills, Gusev Crater, Mars," 42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference,, 01 March 2011.
  1. A. Ansar, Y. Cheng, "Vision Technologies for Small Body Proximity Operations," Proc. International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space, 01 January 2010.
  2. K. Wagstaff, J. Panetta, A. Ansar, "Change Detection in Mars Orbital Image Using Dynamic Landmarking," Lunar and Planetary Science COnference, 41:2555, 01 January 2010.
  3. A. Rankin, M. Bajracharya, A. Huertas, A. Howard, B. Moghaddam, S. Brennan, A. Ansar, et al., "Stereo-vision-based Perception Capabilities Developed during the Robotics Collaborative Technology Alliances Program," Unmanned Systems Technology Conf. XII, International Society for Optics and Photonics, 01 January 2010.
  1. A. Ansar, "Multi-modal Image Registration," IEEE Conf. on Space Mission Challenges for Information Technology, 01 September 2009.
  2. A. Mourikis, N. Trawny, S. Roumeliotis, A. Johnson, A. Ansar, L. Matthies, "Vision-aided inertial navigation for spacecraft entry, descent and landing," IEEE Transactions on Robotics, Vol. 25, No. 2, 264-280, 01 January 2009.
  3. W.KIm, I. Nesnas, M. Bajracharya, R. Madison, A. Ansar, R. Steele, J. Jiesiadecki, K.Ali, "Targeted Driving Using Visual Tracking on Mars: From Research to Flight," Journal of Field Robotics, 01 January 2009.
  4. A. Ansar, L. Matthies, "Multi-modal Image Registration for Localization in Titans Atmosphere," IEEE/RSJ Internation Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 3349-3354, 01 January 2009.
  5. C. Olson, A. Ansar, C. Padgett, "Robust Registration of Aerial Image Sequence," Internation Symposium on Visual Computing, Vol. 2, 325-334, 01 January 2009.
  1. A. Elfes, J. Hall, E. Kulczycki, D. Clouse, A. Morfopoulos, J. Montgomery, J. Cameraon, A. Ansar, R. Machuzak, "An Autonomy Architecture for Aerobot Exploration of the Saturnian Moon Titan," IEEE Aerospace Conference, 01 January 2007.
  2. A. Kiely, A. Ansar, A. Castano, M. Klimesh, J. Maki, "Lossy Image Compression and Stereo Ranging Quality from Mars Rovers," Interplanetary Network (IPN) Progress Report, vol. 42-168, 1-27, 01 January 2007.
  3. N. Trawny, A. Mourikis, S. Roumeliotis, A. Johnson, J. Montgomery, A. Ansar, L. Matthies, "Coupled Vision and Inertial Navigation for Pin-Point Landing," NASA Science and Technology Conference, 01 January 2007.
  1. C. Theodore, D. Rowley, D. Hubbard, A. Ansar, L. Matthies, S. Goldberg, M. Whalley, "Flight Trial of a Rotocraft Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Landing Autonomously at Unprepared Sites," American Helicopter Society Conference, 01 May 2006.
  1. W. Kim A. Ansar R. Steele K. Ali I. Nesnas, "Rover-Based Visual Target Tracking Validation and Mission Infusion," American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics Conference, 01 January 2005.
  2. A. Ansar, "Stereo Vision Overview," Workshop on Navigation and Manipulation for Mars Rovers, International Conference on Advanced Robotics, 01 January 2005.
  3. A. Ansar, Y. Cheng, "An Analysis of Spacecraft Localization from Descent Image Data for Pinpoint Landing on Mars and Other Cratered Bodies," Journal of Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing: Special Issue on Mapping Mars, Vol 71, No. 10, 1197-1204, 01 January 2005.
  1. A. Ansar K. Daniilidis, "Linear Pose Estimation from Points or Lines," IEEE Trans. Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 25: 578-589, 01 January 2003.
  2. Y. Cheng A. Ansar, "A Landmark Based Pinpoint Landing Simulator," Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space, 01 January 2003.
  3. A. Ansar, L. Matthies, "Multibaseline stereo system for evaluation of binocular stereo," Proc. of SPIE Aerosense, 01 January 2003.
  4. A. Ansar and L. Matthies, "Improvement of Stereo in Complex Scenes," Proceedings of Collaborative Technology Alliances Conference, 01 January 2003.
  5. P. Bellutta, M. McHenry, L. Matthies, A. Ansar, "Active and passive detection of water," Proceedings of Collaborative Technology Alliances Conference, 01 January 2003.
  1. A. Ansar, D. Rodrigues, J.P. Desai, K. Daniilidis, V. Kumar, M.F.M. Campos, "Visual and Haptic Collaborative Tele-presence," Computers and Graphics, 789-798, 01 January 2001.
  2. A. Ansar, K. Daniilidis, "Linear Solutions for Visual Augmented Reality Registration," IEEE and ACM International Symposium on Augmented Reality, 01 January 2001.