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Olivier Toupet


4800 Oak Grove Dr.
M/S 198-219

Pasadena, CA 91109





Olivier Toupet

Group Supervisor, Research Technologist


Olivier Toupet was the supervisor of the Robotic Aerial Mobility group (347T) which develops innovative technologies to improve the autonomy of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). His technical expertise is at the intersection of robotics and aeronautics, with a focus on guidance, navigation, and control, and includes multi-vehicle (swarm) decision-making, path-planning, optimal and robust control, state estimation, flight dynamics modeling, and aircraft design.


* MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 2006
* MS in Aerospace Engineering, Ecole Nationale Superieure de lAeronautique et de lEspace (SUPAERO), France, 2003

Professional Experience

* Supervisor of the Robotic Aerial Mobility group, since 2018
* Leader of the Robotic Mobility group at JPL, 2016 - 2018
* Research Technologist in the Robotic Controls and Estimation group at JPL, 2013 - 2016
* Senior Flight Controls Engineer at (VTOL electric airplane start-up), 2011 - 2013
* Lead Research Engineer in Autonomy, Controls, and Estimation, at Aurora Flight Sciences (UAV company), 2006 - 2011
* Aerospace Engineer at Nascent Tech (UAV company), 2005 - 2006

Research Interests

* Aerial robotics
* Multi-vehicle collaborative control
* Robot decision making & motion planning
* Probabilistic estimation and learning


  1. J. Delaune, J. Izraelevitz, S. Sirlin, D. Sternberg, L. Giersch, L. Tosi, E. Skyliyanskiy, L. Young, M. Mischna, S. Withrow-Maser, J. Mueller, J. Bowman, M. Wallance, H. Grip, L. Matthies, W. Johnson, M. Keennon, B. Pipenberg, H. Patel, C. Lim, M. Veismann, H. Cummings, S. Conley, T. Tzanetos, R. Brockers, A, Jain, D. Bayard, A. Chmielewski, O. Toupet, J. Burdick, M. Gharib, J. B. Balaram, "Mid-Air Helicopter Delivery at Mars Using a Jetpack," 2022 IEEE Aerospace Conference (AERO), Big Sky, MT, USA, pp. 1-20, 05 March 2022.
  2. T. Tzanetos, M. Aung, J. Balaram, H. Grip, J. Karras, T. Canham, G. Kubiak, J. Anderson, G. Merewether, M. Pauken, S. Cappucci, M. Chase, M. Golombek, O. Toupet, M. Smart, E. Ramirez, J. Lam, R. Stern, N. Chahat, J. Ravich, R. Hogg, B. Pipenberg, M. Keennon, K. Williford, "Ingenuity Mars Helicopter: From Technology Demonstration to Extraterrestrial Scout," 2022 IEEE Aerospace Conference (AERO), Big Sky, MT, USA, pp. 01-19, 05 March 2022.
  3. F. Alibay, J. Koch, V. Verma, K. Bean, O. Toupet, D. Petrizzo, B. Chamberlain-Simon, R. Lange, R. Hogg, "On the Operational Challenges of Coordinating a Helicopter and Rover Mission on Mars," 2022 IEEE Aerospace Conference (AERO), Big Sky, MT, USA, pp. 1-17, 05 March 2022.
  4. V. Verma, F. Hartman, A. Rankin, M. Maimone, T. Del Sesto, O. Toupet, E. Graser, S. Myint, K. Davis, D. Klein, J. Koch, S. Brooks, P. Bailey , H. Justice, M. Dolci, H. Ono, "First 210 solar days of Mars Perseverance Robotic Operations - Mobility, Robotics Arm, Sampling, and Helicopter," IEEE Aerospace Conference, 05 March 2022.
  1. Ali-akbar Agha-mohammadi, et al., "NeBula: Quest for Robotic Autonomy in Challenging Environments; TEAM CoSTAR at the DARPA Subterranean Challenge," Journal of Field Robotics, 21 March 2021.
  2. Arturo Rankin, Mark Maimone, Jeffrey Biesiadecki, Nikunj Patel, Dan Levine, Olivier Toupet, "Mars Curiosity Rover Mobility Trends During the First 7 Years," Journal of Field Robotics, 09 January 2021.
  1. A. Rankin, M. Maimone, J. Biesiadecki, N. Patel, D. Levine, O. Toupet, "Driving Curiosity: Mars Rover Mobility Trends During the First Seven Years," 2020 IEEE Aerospace Conference, 01 March 2020.
  2. Michael McHenry, Neil Abcouwer, Jeffrey Biesiadecki, Johnny Chang, Tyler Del Sesto, Andrew Johnson, Todd Litwin, Mark Maimone, Jack Morrison, Richard Rieber, Olivier Toupet, Philip Twu, "Mars 2020 Autonomous Rover Navigation," Proceedings of the 43rd AAS Rocky Mountain Section guidance, Navigation and Control Conference, Breckenridge, Colorado, 30 January 2020.
  1. O. Toupet, J. Biesiadecki, A. Rankin, A. Steffy, G. Meirion-Griffith, D. Levine, M. Schadegg, and M. Maimone, "Traction Control Design and Integration Onboard the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover," IEEE Aerospace Conference, 01 January 2018.
  1. O. Toupet, and J. Biesiadecki, "Traction Control for the Curiosity Rover: A New Capability to Minimize Slip and Wheel Wear on Mars," 3rd World Congress on Automation and Robotics, 01 January 2017.
  2. O. Toupet, and G. Kogut, "Fusing wheel and visual odometry with inertial measurements: An Extended Kalman Filter for Unmanned Ground Vehicles in GPS-Denied Enviroments," 3rd World Congress on Automation and Robotics, 01 January 2017.
  1. G. Droge, A. Xydes, M. Ono, A. Rahmani, O. Toupet, and C. Scrapper, "Adaptive Formation Control for Route-following Ground Vehicles," Robotics Science and Systems Conference, 01 January 2016.
  1. M. Ono, G. Droge, H. Grip, O. Toupet, C. Scrapper, and A. Rahmani, "Road-Following Formation Control of Autonomous Ground Vehicles," 54th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, 01 January 2015.
  1. Andrew Clare, Mary Cummings, Jonathan How, Andrew Whitten, and Olivier Toupet, "Operator Objective Function Guidance for a Real-time Unmanned Vehicle Scheduling Algorithm," AIAA Journal of Aerospace Computing, Information and Communication, Vol. 9, No. 4, 01 December 2012.
  2. Andrew Kopeikin, Andrew Clare, Olivier Toupet, Mary Cummings, and Jonathan How, "Flight Testing a Heterogeneous Multi-UAV System with Human Supervision," AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference (GNC), 01 January 2012.
  1. Olivier Toupet and Jonathan How, "Collaborative Sensor Fusion and Management for Multiple UAVs," AIAA Infotech@Aerospace Conference, 01 January 2011.
  2. Olivier Toupet and George Kiwada, "Multi-UAV Coordination for Multi-Target Tracking and Prosecution," Armed Unmanned Aircraft System Conference 2011, 01 January 2011.
  3. David Kordonowy and Olivier Toupet, "Meta-Heuristic Sensor Placement Optimization for Structural Health Monitoring on Composite Panels," Integrated Systems Health Management (ISHM) Conference, 01 January 2011.
  4. Andrew Kopeikin, Andrew Clare, Olivier Toupet, Mary Cummings, and Jonathan How, "Design of a Decentralized Multi-UAV System with Human Supervision," AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems North America Conference, 01 January 2011.
  5. Andrew Kopeikin, Sameera Ponda, Luc Johnson, Olivier Toupet, and Jonathan How, "Real-Time Dynamic Planning to Maintain Network Connectivity in a Team of Heterogeneous Unmanned Systems," Wi-UAV 2011, 2nd International Workshop on Wireless Networking for Unmanned Autonomous Vehicles at the IEEE GlobeComm Conference, 01 January 2011.
  1. Douglas Allaire, Karen Willcox, and Olivier Toupet, "A Bayesian-Based Approach to Multi-Fidelity Multidisciplinary Design Optimization," 13th AIAA/ISSMO Multidisciplinary Analysis Optimization Conference, 01 January 2010.
  1. Jonathan How, Cameron Fraser, Karl Kulling, Luca Bertuccelli, Olivier Toupet, Luc Brunet, Abe Bachrac, and Nicholas Roy, "Increasing autonomy of UAVs," Robotics and Automation Magazine, IEEE 16.2, 43-51, 01 June 2009.
  1. Olivier Toupet, Robert Panish, James Paduano, Raymond Sedwick, and Emilio Frazzoli, "Augmenting State Estimates with Multiple Camera Visual Measurements," AIAA Infotech@Aerospace Conference, 01 January 2007.
  1. Olivier Toupet, and Bernard Mettler, "Design and Flight Test Evaluation of Guidance System for Autonomous Rotorcraft," AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, 01 January 2006.
  1. Bernard Mettler and Olivier Toupet, "Receding Horizon Trajectory Planning with an Environment-Based Cost-to-go Function," 44th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control and European Control Conference, 01 January 2005.
  2. Olivier Toupet, Gregory Mark, and Patrick Freuler, "Design and Optimization of a UAV Platform," 1st AIAA Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Specialist Conference, 01 January 2005.