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Jonathan Cameron


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 198-219
Pasadena, CA 91109





Jonathan M Cameron, Ph.D.

Senior Engineer


Jonathan M. Cameron received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1979 and his M.S. in Engineering Science and Mechanics in 1980, both at Georgia Institute of Technology. In 1981, he was employed by Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, where he was involved in spacecraft and ground vehicle control research including path planning for robotic vehicles. In 1988, he left JPL on an educational leave of absence to pursue a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology under the direction of Professor Wayne J. Book. He completed his Ph.D in December, 1993. From then until 1995, he was employed by the College of Computing at Georgia Tech to work as a research scientist investigating multiagent robotics. In July of 1995, he returned to JPL and is now a member of the Robotics Systems Section where he is working on several advanced space exploration concepts. His research interests include robotics, dynamics, kinematics, and software development.


Ph. D. in Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, December 1993.
* Thesis: Modeling and motion planning for nonholonomic systems.
* Advisor: Prof. Wayne Book, Mechanical Engineering.
* Study Areas: Robotics, dynamics, controls, artificial intelligence, and computer vision.

M. S. in Engineering Science and Mechanics, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1980.
* Specialization: Dynamics and controls.

B. S. in Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1979.

Professional Experience

Senior Engineeer , Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA), Pasadena, California, July 1995-Present. Active in future Mars flight projects, focusing on system modeling, simulation, and system engineering. Developing high-fidelity simulation capabilities for Rovers. Also participating in developing proposals for future asteroid and comet missions. Past research activities include advanced technology for space exploration missions including studying the potential of using balloons for planetary missions and developing technology for rendezvous and landing on comets. Analysis and research in various related areas such as mechanisms, thermodynamics, control concepts, flight software, and automation.

Research Scientist (Postdoctoral fellow) College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, February 1994-June 1995. Research in multi-agent robotics: How to get groups of robotics agents (typically mobile robots) to perform tasks cooperatively. This involves determining the optimum number of robots for each task, the most effective types of behaviors for each robot (and for the entire group of robots), as well as the best communication strategies between robots.

Graduate Research Assistant, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1989-93. Investigated modeling and motion planning for mechanical systems which included mobile bases. Designed object-oriented software for simulating mechanical systems. Trained and managed a team of programmers in the implementation of simulation software using C++. Designed and implemented a symbolic modeling tool using Mathematica. Participated in a robot-assisted bone setting project using computer vision.

Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA), Georgia Institute of Technology, 1988-89. Supervised three GTAs as head GTA for a lab class in experimental methodology.

Engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, 1981-January, 1994. Supervisor: Brian Wilcox, Group Sup., (818) 354-4625, Robotic Vehicles Group. Performed dynamics and control analysis on large space structures during 1981-84. Designed and implemented a path planning system for robotic vehicles on a Symbolics LISP machine during 1984-87. Authored and helped produce videotapes of work accomplishments. Developed robotics-related software and hardware for prototype Mars rover vehicles during 1987-88 and subsequent summers. Implemented a system to simulate and analyze the construction of a space structure.

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1979-80. Taught a junior-level course in particle and rigid-body dynamics.

Cooperative Education Student, Georgia Power Company, 1976-78 (alternate quarters). Performed technical work related to power plant instrumentation.

Machine Shop Worker, W. B. George Manufacturing Company, Atlanta, GA, 1975. Worked with a variety of machine tools.

Draftsman, T. E. Stivers Organization, Inc., Decatur, GA, 1974-75. Drafted feed mill plant design drawings.

Research Interests

Robotics, simulation of robotic systems, ground vehicle control and simulation, aerial robotic vehicles (ballons and airships), software development.

Flight Project and Research Task Involvement

Research Tasks
SOOPS: Science Operations on Planetary Surfaces
Titan Aerobots


  1. J. Balaram, Jonathan M. Cameron, James W. Cutts and Kerry T. Nock, "Autonomous Mobility, Navigation, and Control for Venus Aerobots," I-SAIRAS 97, July 14-15, Tokyo, Japan., 17 September 2020.
  1. J. Cameron, S. Myint, C. Kuo, A. Jain, H. F. Grip, P. Jayakumar, and J. Overholt, "Real-time and high-fidelity simulation environment for autonomous ground vehicle dynamics," NDIA Ground Vehicle Systems Engineering and Technology Symposium, Troy, MI, 01 January 2013.
  1. S. Myint, A. Jain, J. Cameron, C. Lim, "Large Terrain Modeling and Visualization for Planets," Fourth IEEE International Conference on Space Mission Challenges for Information Technology (SMC-IT 2011), San Francisco, CA, 01 August 2011.
  1. A Jain, J. Cameron, C. Lim, J. Guineau, "SimScape Terrain Modeling Toolkit," Second International Conference on Space Mission Challenges for Information Technology (SMC-IT 2006), Pasadena, CA, July 2006, 01 July 2006.