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Kamak Ebadi


4800 Oak Grove Drive

Pasadena, CA 91109

Member of:

347P - Aerial and Orbital Image Analysis

Kamak Ebadi

Robotics Technologist


Kamak Ebadi is a robotics technologist who currently serves as a member of the Aerial and Orbital Image Analysis group. He is a member of the Mars2020 Sampling and Catching (SNC) tactical and strategic operations team, which is responsible for commanding the Perseverance rover to collect and store a carefully curated set of rock and soil samples that will be brought back to Earth in the future. Apart from his contributions to the Perseverance rover mission, Kamak is also deeply involved in the development of high-precision orbital maps and Terrain Relative Navigation (TRN) algorithms for guided descent and precise landing on Mars, in support of NASA's Mars Sample Return mission, as well as missions to the moon as part of the NASA Artemis program.

In 2017, Kamak became a doctoral research fellow at JPL, where he worked on a range of cutting-edge research projects while completing his Ph.D. thesis. During this time, he was involved in several notable projects, including collaborative localization and mapping with a team of Mars rover-helicopter, the DARPA Subterranean Challenge, and the simultaneous estimation of the shape and pose of uncooperative space objects.


  • Postdoctoral Fellow - NASA JPL / Caltech, 2021
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) - Electrical and Computer Engineering - Santa Clara University, 2020
  • Master's of Science - Electrical and Computer Engineering - Florida International University, 2012

Professional Experience

  • Robotics Technologist - NASA JPL, 2021 - Present
  • Postdoctoral Fellow - NASA JPL / California Institute of Technology, 2020 - 2021
  • Doctoral Research Fellow - NASA JPL / California Institute of Technology, 2017 - 2020
  • Robotics Engineering Co-Op - Autonomous Drive Group - Nissan Research Center, 2015 - 2017
  • Robotics Engineering Co-Op - Exoskeleton R&D Group - AlterG, 2013 - 2017
  • Research and Teaching Assistant - Santa Clara University, 2013 - 2017
  • 4G/LTE IP Network Engineering Co-Op - Verizon Wireless, 2012

Research Interests

  • Orbital mapping and Terrain relative navigation for guided descent and precise planetary landing
  • Simultaneous 3D localization and mapping (SLAM) for multiagent collaborative systems
  • Autonomous navigation in extreme, and perceptually-degraded environments
  • Machine learning for object detection and semantic segmentation.


  • Team Bonus Award - for exceptional contributions to the JPL SubT team during the final DARPA SubT Challenge, 2022
  • Mission Design Lead - NASA Planetary Science Summer School (PSSS) - Early mission concept to Enceladus, 2021
  • STAR Award - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory - California Institute of Technology, 2020
  • 1st place, member of CoSTAR perception team, DARPA Subterranean Challenge, Urban Circuit, 2020
  • 2nd place, member of CoSTAR perception team, DARPA Subterranean Challenge, Tunnel Circuit, 2019
  • Best Doctoral Research Award - School of Engineering - Santa Clara University, 2019
  • 1st place - Space Design Challenge Award, NASA Ames Research Center, 2013