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Dr. Mark Maimone is a Navigation and Machine Vision researcher at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology. He designed and implemented the Autonomous Navigation flight software for the MER and MSL Mars Rover missions, and has been the Flight Software Lead for MSL and Rover Driver Deputy Lead for MSL and Mars 2020. He is currently Robotic Operations Deputy Team Chief for Perseverance, as well as a Rover Planner and Flight/Ground Software Developer for both Perseverance and Curiosity.
In 1989 he completed the International Space University summer program. He earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Computer Science Department of Carnegie Mellon University in 1996, with a dissertation that addressed problems that have plagued stereo vision systems for decades. He was then a Post-doctoral Research Associate at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute, supervising the 1996 Lunar Rover field trials and serving as Navigation and Software Lead for the 1997 Atacama Desert Trek.
At JPL since 1997, Mark has worked on the Long Range Science Rover, Planetary Dexterous Manipulator, and Pioneer Vision System for Chornobyl Inspection projects, delivering 3D vision systems for autonomous robotic operations and mapping. Mark developed the autonomous vision and navigation software that lets the MER and MSL vehicles drive themselves safely, and wrote ground software that automates the analysis of Mobility and arm operations on MER and MSL Mars Rovers.
His research interests include robotic navigational autonomy, stereo vision, and camera calibration.
2022 Mars 2020 Robotic Operations Team Award for Significant Contribution to enabling driving 5km over a one month period during the Mars 2020 Rapid Traverse campaign.
2022 MSL Team Award for Arm 4/5 Anomaly Investigation Team
2022 NASA Board Award for Enhanced Autonomous Navigation (ENav) for Mars rovers
2022 Mars 2020 Robotic Operations Voyager Award for implementing a Rover Planner rule and best-practice checking framework and tool that both enhances rover safety and compresses the tactical timeline
2022 Mars 2020 Robotic Operations Team award for significant contributions to strategic route planning for M2020 Surface Operations
2020 Mars 2020 Team award for Mars 2020 CEDL Flight Software
2020 IEEE Aerospace Conference M. Charles Fogg Best Paper award for Driving Curiosity: Mars Rover Mobility Trends during the First Seven Years"
2019 MSL Team award for Successful development, testing and implementation of end to end Feed Extended Drilling and Sample Transfer which returned sampling capability to MSL following the failure of the feed mechanism on MSL.
2018 NASA Honors Award MSL Uplink Improvement Team – Group Achievement for exceptional achievement in reducing operations duration, increasing science return, and recovering from anomalies for the Mars Science Laboratory mission.
2017 Mars Exploration Directorate Voyager Award for Outstanding contributions in MSL FSW leadership, Rover Planning and auto-sequence deactivate development
2017 NASA Honors Award for Excellent achievement in developing the Non-Percussive Drilling Capability for Mars Science Laboratory
2017 NASA Honors Award for The development, integration, and extensive testing of a new wheel speed control algorithm to prolong the life of Curiositys wheels
2017 NASA Honors Award for Excellent achievement in resolving the Mars Science Laboratory Sol 911 Drill Short to Chassis Anomaly including the Rover Motor Controller Flight Software Patch
2017 MSL Team award for Continued technical excellence and troubleshooting of multiple MSL SA/SPaH anomalies over the past year
2017 MSL Team award for Excellence in diagnostics and flight recovery during the CHIMRA tunnel anomaly
2017 MSL Team award for Successful diagnosis, recovery, and return to nominal operations after safe mode and catalog corruption on sol 1389
2017 MSL Team award for Successful development, test, and deployment of the Traction Control patch to the flight vehicle, reducing forces experienced by the wheels
2016 NASA Group Achievement Award to MSL R12 FSW Development, V&V and Deployment Team for successful development, test and deployment of the Mars Science Laboratory R12 Flight Software Load
2015 NASA Group Achievement Award to MSL Prime Mission Science and Operations Team for exceptional technical innovations in rover surface operations leading to significantly improved Mars Science Laboratory prime mission performance and science return
2015 MSL R12 FSW and Transition Team Award, for The successful development, testing, upload and execution of the R12 Flight Software Load
2015 MSL Sol 911 Drill Chassis Short Anomaly Team Award, for The successful analysis, development, testing and recovery from the drill voice coil short anomaly
2015 MSL ChemCam Anomaly Response Team Award, for The successful analysis, development, testing and resolution of the ChemCam auto-focus and sun safety anomalies
2014 NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal for The development and deployment of autonomous surface navigation for the MSL rover, enabling traverses beyond the rovers line of sight on Mars
2013 NASA Software of the Year Award for Mars Science Laboratory Rover Flight Software
2007 NASA Space Act Major Award for Mars Exploration Rovers Flight Software
2007 NASA Space Act Standard Award for Autonomous Instrument Placement for the Mars Exploration Rover
2006 Mars Exploration Directorate Team Bonus Award for Successful flight code development and validation of autonomy algorithms for the MER mission
2006 ASPRS John I Davidson Award for Practical Papers for Initial Results of Rover Localization and Topographic Mapping for the 2003 MER Mission
2006 NASA Space Act award, Visual Odometry Software for 6 DOF Attitude Estimation on Mobile Robots Using Stereo Cameras
2005 JPL Level A Award, for Outstanding technical accomplishment in the design, development, and incorporation of code which compensates for slip while driving on sloped terrain on Mars into the Mars Exploration Rover flight software.
2004 NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal for Mars Exploration Rover Autonomous Surface Navigation System
1999 JPL Nova Award for Planetary Dexterous Manipulation work
1997 CMU Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence for Atacama Desert Trek field test