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Andres Huertas


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





Andres Huertas

Member of Technical Staff


Andres Huertas was born in Colombia. In the 60s he got his first model of the Saturn V booster from his uncle, a NASA/AMES neurosurgeon, who studied and instrumented the brains of chimpanzes prior to human moon flights.
Andres attended La Universidad de Los Andes where he studied Systems and Computer Engineering. His thesis there dealt with the process of acquiring language (sensation and word associations) in human babies. The basic 26-neuron element incorpoprates in a two-imput, two-output, two reverberating paths, the necessary timming, reinforcement and memories needed. Words can evoke sensations and viceversa, in a process akin to instantiating an object in a hologram by shining the right light on it. This work earned him a fellowship to study artificial intelligence and work at the Image Processing Institute at USC in Los Angeles in 1976. After some time in Colombia where he was chief of the data processing section of the Ministry of Health he returned to USC to study Electrical Engineering. Upon graduation he joined the research staff at the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems where he remained until 2001. His work since 1978 dealt with computer vision research, sponsored by the 20-year DARPA Image Understanding Program. The research there dealt with all aspects of visual perception from low level vision to high-level contextual reasoning, with corresponding contributions to the literature. The systems he developed in LISP to automatically interpret and map cultural features from large single images, stereo pairs, and multiple-view aerial images were ported to several national labs and industrial sites for testing and evaluation. The more complex versions included information fusion from multiple sensors such as EO, SAR, IFSAR, DEMs and Hyperspectral. In 2002 he joined the Computer Vision Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to work on computer vision techniques for autonomous off-road navigation, and on techniques for hazard detection and safe landing of spacecraft on planetary surfaces.


Engineer, Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1984.
M.S. Computer Science, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1978.
B.S. Systems and Computing Engineering, Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, 1974

Professional Experience

* Image Processing Research. USC-IPI.
* Image Understanding Research. USC-IRIS.
* Industry Consulting:
Opti-Copy Inc. (Lenexa, KS) Computer Vision.
Snow Aviation Intl Inc. (Columbus, OH): Two-man, all-digital, fault-tolerant, multi-redundant, gracefully-degrading cockpit architecture for C-130 Hercules.

Research Interests

Human Visual Perception,
Machine Vision,
Perceptual Grouping.
Multi-sensory perception,
Visual information fusion.


  1. A. Stein, L. Matthies and A. Huertas, "Attenuating Pixel-Locking in Stereo Vision via Affine Window Adaptation," Pending: Submitted to 2006 Int'l Conference on Robotics and Automation, 17 September 2020.
  2. with A. Lin & R. Nevatia., "A System for Building Detection from Aerial Images, In Automatic Extraction of Man-Made Objects from Aerial and Space Images II, edited by A. Gruen, E. Baltsavias and O. Henricsson, Birkhauser Verlag, Switzerland, 1997.," 17 September 2020.
  3. A. Johnson, A. Huertas, R. Werner and J. Montogomery, "Analysis of On-Board Hazard Detection and Avoidance for Safe Lunar Landing," 2008 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MO, Mar. 2008., 17 September 2020.
  4. -A. Huertas, Y. Cheng and L. Matthies, "Automatic Hazard Detection for Landers," 9th Intl. Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space, Los Angeles, CA, Feb. 2008., 17 September 2020.
  5. Z. Kim, A. Huertas and R. Nevatia, "Automatic Description of Complex Buildings with Multiple Images," Proceedings of the Fifth IEEE Workshop on Applications of Computer Vision, 155-162, 17 September 2020.
  1. D. Lee, A. Rankin, A. Huertas, J. Nash, G. Ahuja, and L. Matthies, "LWIR passive perception system for stealthy unmanned ground vehicle night operations," Unmanned Systems Technology XVIII, vol. 9837, pp. 94–101, 15 May 2016.
  2. 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. M. Golombek · J. Grant · D. Kipp · A. Vasavada · R. Kirk · R. Fergason · P. Bellutta · F. Calef · K. Larsen · Y. Katayama · A. Huertas · R. Beyer · A. Chen · T. Parker · B. Pollard · S. Lee · Y. Sun · R. Hoover · H. Sladek · J. Grotzinger · R. Welch · E. Noe Dobrea · J. Michalski · M. Watkins, "Selection of the Mars Science Laboratory Landing Site," Space Sci Rev DOI 10.1007/s11214-012-9916-y June 2012., 02 August 2012.
  2. M. Golombek, A. Huertas, D. Kipp, F. Calef, "Detection and Characterization of Rocks and Rock Size-Frequency Distributions at the Mars Science Laboratory Landing Sites," MARS - The Int. Journal of Mars Science and Exploration, 01 August 2012.
  3. M. Golombek, P. Bellutta, F. Calef, R. Fergason2 R. Hoover, A. Huertas, D. Kipp, R. Kirk, T. Prker, Y. Sun, H. Sladek, "SURFACE CHARACTERISTICS AND TRAVERSABILITY OF THE GALE CRATER MARS SCIENCE LABORATORY LANDING SITE," LPSC # 1608, 01 January 2012.
  1. A. Rankin, A. Huertas, L. Matthies, M. Bajracharya, C. Assad, S. Brennan, P. Bellutta, and G. Sherwin, "Unmanned Ground Vehicle Perception using Thermal Infrared Cameras," Proceedings of SPIE, Vol. 8045, 01 April 2011.
  2. L. Gaddis, C. H. van der Bogert, Y. Cheng, A. Huertas, J. Skinner, B.R Hawke and T. Giguere, "SMALL CRATER DENSITIES NEAR APOLLO 17: CLUES TO PROPERTIES OF LUNAR PYROCLASTIC DEPOSITS.," LPSC #2584, 01 January 2011.
  3. A. Huertas and Y. Cheng, "AUTOMATIC MAPPING OF LUNAR CRATERS AND BOULDERS," LPSC-#1272, 01 January 2011.
  1. A. Huertas, A. Johnson, R. Werner, R. Maddock, "Performance Evaluation of Hazard Detection and Avoidance Algorithms for Safe Lunar Landings," IEEE Aerospace, 01 January 2010.
  2. M. Golombek , J. Grant, A. R. Vasavada, J. Grotzinger, M. Watkins, D. Kipp, E. Noe Dobrea, J. Griffes, T. Parker, R. Kirk, R. Fergason, R. Beyer, A. Huertas, R. Milliken, and Y. Sun, "LANDING SITES UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR MARS SCIENCE LABORATORY," LPSC Conference, #2407, 01 January 2010.
  3. Y. Cheng and A. Huertas, "A New Strategy to Land Precisely on the Northern Plains Of Mars," ISAIRAS_2010, 01 January 2010.
  1. A. Rankin, A. Huertas, L. Matthies, "Stereo Vision Based Terrain Mapping for Off-Road Autonomous Navigation," Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 7332, 01 April 2009.
  2. D. Spencer, D. Adams, E. Bonfiglio, M. Golombek, A. Huertas, T. Parker, L. Tamppari, R. Arvidson, T. Heet, T. Stein, K Seelos, P. Smith, "Phoenix Landing Site Selection and Hazard Assessment," Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 01 January 2009.
  1. L. Matthies, A. Huertas, Y. Cheng and A. Johnson, "Stereo vision and shadow analysis for landing hazard detection," International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Pasadena, CA, May 2008, 01 May 2008.
  2. M. Golombek, H. Sizemore, A. Huertas, L. Tamppari and M. Mellon, "Estimates of the Number and Size of Rocks within Reach of the Robotic Arm During Phoenix Surface Operations on Mars," 39thLunar and Planetary Science Conference, League City, TX, Mar. 2008, 01 March 2008.
  3. M. Golombek, A. Huertas,, "Size-Frequency Distributions of Rocks on the Northern Plains of Mars with Special Reference to Phoenix Landing Surfaces," J. Geophys. Res., 113, E00A09, doi:10.1029/2007JE003065., 01 January 2008.
  1. L. Matthies, et. al,, "Computer Vision on Mars," Intl. Journal of Computer Vision, Oct. 2007, vol. 75, No. 1, pp. 67-92., 01 October 2007.
  1. A. Stein, A. Huertas, L. Matthies, "Attenuating stereo pixel-locking via affine window adaptation," IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Orlando, FL, 01 May 2006.
  2. A. Huertas, Y. Cheng and R. Madison, "Passive Imaging Based Multi-cue Hazard Detection for Safe Landing," Pending. Submited to 2006 IEEE Aerospace Conference, 01 January 2006.
  1. A. Rankin, A. Huertas, L. Matthies, "Evaluation of Stereo Vision Obstacle Detection Algorithms for Off-Road Autonomous Navigation," Proceedings of the 32nd AUVSI Symposium on Unmanned Systems, 01 June 2005.
  2. A. Rankin, C. Bergh, S. Goldberg, P. Bellutta, A. Huertas, L. Matthies, "Passive Perception System for Day/Night Autonomous Off-Road Navigation," Proc. SPIE vol?5804: Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology VII, Orlando, FL, 01 March 2005.
  3. A. Rankin, A. Huertas and L. Matthies, "Evaluation of Stereo Vision Obstacle Detection Algorithms or Off-Road Autonomous Navigation," Proc. Automatic Unmanned Vehicle Symp., 01 January 2005.
  4. A. Huertas, A. Rankin and L. Matthies, "Stereo-Based Tree Traversability Analysis for Autonomous Off-Road Navifgation," Proc. 7th IEEE Workshop on Applications of Computer Vision, 01 January 2005.
  1. A. Rankin, L. Matthies, A. Huertas, "Daytime Water Detection by Fusing Multiple Cues for Autonomous Off-Road Navigation," Proceedings of the 24th Army Science Conference, 01 November 2004.
  2. A. Ansar, A. Huertas, L. MAtthies and S. Goldberg, "Enhancement of stereo at range discontinuities," Proc. 2004 SPIE Defense and Security Symposium: UGV Technology, 01 January 2004.
  1. Z. Kim, A. Huertas and R. Nevatia, "Automatic Description of Buildings with Complex Rooftops from Multiple Images," Proc. Conf. Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, 01 January 2001.
  2. A. Huertas, Z. Kim, R. Nevatia, "Automatic Description of Complex Buildings from Multiple Images," Computer Vision and Image Understanding Journal, 01 January 2001.
  1. A. Huertas, Z. Kim and R. Nevatia, "Multisensor Integration for Building Modeling," Proc. Conf. Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, 203-210, 01 January 2000.
  2. A. Huertas, S. Lee and R. Nevatia, "Modeling 3-D Complex Buildings With User Assistance," Proc. 5th IEEE Workshop on Applications of Computer Vision, 170-177, 01 January 2000.
  3. A. Huertas and R. Nevatia, "Detecting Changes in Aerial Views of Man-Made Structures," Image and Vision Computing Journal Vol. 18, Elsevier Science Publishers, 583-596, 01 January 2000.
  1. A. Huertas, D. Landgrebe and R. Nevatia, "Use of Hyperspectral Data with Intensity Images for Automatic Building Modeling," Second International Conf. on Information Fusion, 01 January 1999.
  1. A. Huertas, J. Chen, G. Medioni, "Automatic Registration of Color Separation Films," Interna¬tional Journal of Machine Vision and Applications Vol4, Springer-Verlag, New York, 1991., 33-51, 01 January 1991.
  1. A. Huertas, W. Cole and R. Nevatia, "Detection of Runways in Complex Airport Scenes," Computer Vision, Graphics and Image Processing Journal, Vol. 51., 01 January 1990.
  1. A. Huertas and R. Nevatia, "Detecting Buildings in Aerial Images," Computer Vision, Graphics and Image Processing Journal, Vol. 41, 01 January 1988.
  1. A. Huertas and G. Medioni, "Detection of Intensity Changes with Subpixel Accuracy Using Laplacian-of-Gaussian Masks," IEEE journal on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 01 January 1987.
  2. A. Huertas, J. Chen and G. Medioni, "Fast Convolutions with Laplacian-of-Gaussian Masks," IEEE Journal on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 01 January 1987.