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Daniel Clouse


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 125-209

Pasadena, CA 91109


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Member of:

347P - Aerial and Orbital Image Analysis

Daniel Clouse

Member of Technical Staff


Daniel Clouse finished his BA in Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 1982. He worked at NCR Corporation, Systems Engineering, San Diego from 1982 to 1992 as a Principal Programmer / Analyst in the Programming Languages Department. He designed and developed a number of code generators and run-time systems on Unix 486 platform for C++, COBOL, NCRL, Ada. As a project leader, he supervised 4 programmers, and received 2 technical
merit awards.

He finished his PhD in Cognitive Science and Computer Science at UC San Diego in 1998. His PhD dissertation uses recurrent neural networks and statistics derived from large text corpora to model human performance on finding the meanings of words.

He has been employed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the Mobility and Robotic Systems Section since 1999. Highlights of his career at JPL include:

- The 2003 "Driving on Slopes" task which produced an algorithm to allow rovers to deal with slippage while driving on sloped surfaces. He was responsible for the implementation of forward and inverse kinematics, for continuous real-time control of steering and driving of the 6 steerable wheel locomotion system, and for collection, interpretation, and reaction to real-time sensor data including stereo cameras, IMU, and joint angles.

- The Aerobot task (2006 - 2011). He designed and implemented software for control of the 11 meter Titan Testbed airship. The software performed data collection, and real-time telemetry for all sensors (GPS, IMU, compass, laser altimeter, barometric altimeter, anemometer, navigation and science cameras); state estimation, and navigation via either waypoint following, or GPS-denied visual servoing. He was in charge of all autonomous flight control for 10 field tests.

- Angelfire / Blue Devil (2007 - 2013). He implemented software for use in real-time surveillance using a multi-camera array mounted on an aircraft. Functionality included fine calibration of the camera array, and the real-time, multi-processor algorithm for tracking of features between frames of the very large images. This feature tracking forms the basis for image stabilization, DEM generation, and geo-registration. The software was used daily in theatre by U.S. Marines and others.

- ACTUV CDAS (2013 - 2015). Task lead for real-time boat detection, tracking, classification system using high-resolution visible and IR imagery for use in automated, unmanned marine vehicle.

- LVS (2009 - 2020). Development, validation, and final flight code for Lander Vision System for use in entry, descent, landing of Mars 2020. Responsible for all image processing code. This system matches features in descent imagery to an onboard map to allow for more accurate spacecraft localization.


1982 BA Computer Science, UC Berkeley
1992 MS Computer Science, UC San Diego
1992 PhD Cognitive Science & Computer Science, UC San Diego

Professional Experience

1982-92 NCR Corp. Systems Engineering, San Diego.
Principal Programmer/Analyst
Programming Languages Dept.

1992-99 UC San Diego, CSE Dept.
Various Research/Teaching Assistentships, Lecturer

1999-now Jet Propulsion Lab
Machine Vision Group
Senior Robotics Software

Research Interests

Computer Vision
Machine Learning
Cognitive Science - word sense disambiguation, language translation


  1. D. Clouse, I. Nesnas, C. Kunz, "A Reusable Camera Interface for Rovers," International Conference on Robotics and Automation Workshop - Software development and integration in robotics: understanding robot software architectures. Rome, Italy, 01 October 2007.
  2. 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.
  1. D. Helmick,S. Roumeliotis, Y. Cheng, D. Clouse, M. Bajracharya, L. Matthies, "Slip-Compensated Path Following for Planetary Exploration Rovers," Advanced Robotics, 01 October 2006.
  2. L. Pedersen, C. Kunz, R. Sargent, R. Madison, P. Backes, M. Bajracharya, D. Clouse, I. Nesnas, "Performance Evaluation of Handoff for Instrument Placement," AIAA Space 2006, 01 September 2006.
  1. D. Helmick, S. Roumeliotis, Y. Cheng, D. Clouse, M. Bajracharya, L. Matthies, "Slip Compensation for a Mars Rover," IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 01 August 2005.
  1. D.M. Helmick, Y. Cheng, S.I. Roumeliotis, D.S. Clouse, L.H. Matthies, "Path following using visual odometry for a Mars rover in high-slip environments," IEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings, 01 March 2004.
  2. C.C. Liebe, A. Abramovici, R.K. Bartman, R.L. Bunker, J. Chapsky, C.C. Chu, D.S. Clouse, J.W. Dillon, B.Hausmann, H.Hemmati, R.P. Kornfeld, C. Kwa, S. Mobasser, M. Newell, C. Padgett, W. T. Roberts, G. Spiers, Z. Warfield, M. Wright, "Laser Radar for Spacecraft Guidance Applications," IEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings, 01 January 2004.
  1. D. Clouse, C. Padgett, "Estimating the Position of a Sphere from Range Images," IEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings, 01 January 2002.
  1. D.S. Clouse, C.C. Liebe, C.W. Padgett, "Covering a Sphere with Retroreflectors," IEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings, 01 January 2001.
  1. D.S. Clouse, C.W. Padgett, "Small Field-of-View Star Identification using Bayesian Decision Theory," IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 36, No. 3, 01 July 2000.
  1. D.S. Clouse, "Representing Lexical Semantics with Context Vectors and Modeling Lexical Access with Attractor Networks," PhD Dissertation, University of California, San Diego, Computer Science and Engineering and Cognitive Science Depts., 01 January 1998.
  2. D.S. Clouse, G.W. Cottrell, "Regularities in a Random Mapping from Orthography to Semantics," Proceedings of the 20th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 01 January 1998.
  1. D.S. Clouse, C.L. Giles, G.W. Cottrell, B.G. Horne, "Time-Delay Neural Networks: Representation and Induction of Finite-State Machines," IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks, Vol. 8, No. 5, 1065-1070, 01 September 1997.
  2. D.S. Clouse, C.L. Giles, G.W. Cottrell, B.G. Horne, "Representation and Induction of Finite State Machines with Time-Delay Neural Networks," Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 9, 01 January 1997.
  1. D.S. Clouse, G.W. Cottrell, "Discrete Multi-Dimensional Scaling," Proceedings of the 18th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 01 January 1996.