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Jacob Izraelevitz


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 82-111D

Pasadena, CA 91101

Member of:

347C - Extreme Environment Robotics Systems

Jacob Izraelevitz

Group Leader


Jacob is a robotics technologist and group lead at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Jacob is the Principal Investigator of JPL's Venus Variable Altitude Aerobots task, developing the technology for long duration buoyant flight in the Venus cloudlayer. His other tasks at JPL bridge the interface between fluid dynamics and robotics, including the design of planetary rotorcraft and underwater vehicles.


Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2017
M.S. Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2013
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Franklin W. Olin College, 2011

Professional Experience

NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, Robotics Technologist, Aug 2017-Present
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Research Assistant, Sept 2011 - June 2017
Tesla Motors, Quality Engineering Intern, June 2011 - Aug 2011
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Summer Student Fellow, June 2010 - Aug 2010

Research Interests

Jacob maintains research interests in unsteady flows, aerial/underwater robotics, and mechanical design. His thesis work investigated the fluid dynamics and control of flapping wings.

Flight Project and Research Task Involvement

Research Tasks
Mars Science Helicopter
Venus Variable Altitude Aerobots


  1. A. Bouman, P. Nadan, M. Anderson, D. Pastor, J. S. Izraelevitz, J. Burdick, & B. Kennedy, "Design and Autonomous Stabilization of a Ballistically Launched Multirotor," ICRA. IEEE., 16 September 2020.
  2. J. S. Izraelevitz, & J. L. Hall, "Minimum-Mass Limits for Streamlined Venus Atmospheric Probes.," AIAA Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 57, No. 4, 01 January 2020.
  3. J. S. Izraelevitz, D. Nikolic, J. Simcic, J. Tarsala, L. P. Tosi, C. Webster, M. Hofstadter, B. Wilcox, & J. Cutts, "Feasibility of an Ice Giant 1kbar Deep Probe," Ice Giant Systems, 01 January 2020.
  4. S. Backus, J. S. Izraelevitz, J. Quan, R. Jitosho, E. Slavick, & A. Kalantari, "Design and Testing of an Ultra-Light Weight Perching System for Sloped or Vertical Rough Surfaces on Mars," IEEE Aerospace Conference, 01 January 2020.
  1. D. Pastor, J. S. Izraelevitz, P. Nadan, A. Bouman, J. Burdick, & B. Kennedy., "Design of a Ballistically-Launched Foldable Multirotor," IROS, IEEE., 01 November 2019.
  2. J. Hall, J. Cameron, M. Pauken, J. S. Izraelevitz, M. Dominguez, K. Wehage, "Altitude-Controlled Light Gas Balloons for Venus and Titan Exploration," AIAA Aviation Forum, 01 January 2019.
  1. J. S. Izraelevitz, M. Kotidis, & M. S. Triantafyllou, "Optimized kinematics enable both aerial and aquatic propulsion from a single three-dimensional flapping wing," Physical Review Fluids, 3-7, 073102, 01 July 2018.
  1. J.S. Izraelevitz, "Flapping wings for dual aerial and aquatic propulsion," Doctoral Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 01 June 2017.
  2. J. S. Izraelevitz, Q. Zhu, & M. S. Triantafyllou, "State-Space Adaptation of Unsteady Lifting Line Theory: Twisting/Flapping Wings of Finite-Span," AIAA Journal, 55-4, 1279-1294, 01 April 2017.
  1. J. S. Izraelevitz & M. S. Triantafyllou, "A Novel Degree of Freedom in Flapping Wings Shows Promise for a Dual Aerial/Aquatic Vehicle Propulsor.," IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 5830 – 5837, 01 May 2015.
  1. J. S. Izraelevitz & M. S. Triantafyllou, "Adding in-line motion and model-based optimization offers exceptional force control authority in flapping foils," Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 742, 5-34, 01 February 2014.
  1. J. S. Izraelevitz, "Inline motion in flapping foils for improved force vectoring performance," Masters Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 01 September 2013.
  1. J. S. Izraelevitz, "Optimal trajectory generation for draped AUV gravity surveys," IEEE OCEANS, 1-8, 01 June 2011.