Skip Navigation


Employee Awards for Fiscal Year 2006


Section 347 has presented year-end monetary awards to individuals and teams, in recognition of their hardwork and accomplishments in the past year. The following is a list of recipients and accomplishments.


Brian Cooper - For leadership in the development of RSVP (Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program), and technical effort in the development of its Hyperdrive 3D visualization element. RSVP is used for the final generation of command sequences, and the planning and validation of all mobility and manipulation activities. It consists of two main components: RSVP-ROSE (Rover Sequence Editor) and RSVP-Hyperdrive. Hyperdrive is an immersive 3D simulation of the rover and its environment that enables operators to construct detailed rover motions and verify their safety. RSVP also provides advanced tools for visualizing telemetry received from the rover and assessing the performance of past sequences.

The recent adaptation of RSVP for control of the ATHLETE rover system, as well as ongoing efforts for Phoenix and MSL is testament to the utility and increasing importance of RSVP in the group ops software area for NASA surface exploration missions. RSVP software (sequence/command editor, rover driving/arm visualization, and constraint checking) is also key to the success of realizing the MSL next generation uplink planning system. Finally, this award recognizes his efforts of the previous fifteen years of rover control interface development which has been leveraged in this recent work: MER RSVP, Rover Control Workstation (RCW) for Sojourner/Pathfinder, and Computer Aided Remote Driving (CARD) for technology development for NASA and DoD.


Avi Okon - For implementing a functional prototype of the Sample Processing and Handling (SPaH) assembly for the MSL project, and providing critical contributions and support for both the SA/SPaH conceptual design review and at the MSL project PDR, at which the assembly was successfully demonstrated. The SPaH assembly is one of the most complex and critical elements of the MSL project, and the majority of the key science objectives of the MSL mission rely on the SPaH operations.

Eric Kulczycki - For efforts toward the successful upgrade, control, operation, and field testing of the airship testbed for the Autonomous Aerobot R&TD task. Successful development and demonstration of aerobot technology is important for JPL to develop competitive aerobot mission concepts.


ATHLETE Team (347): Jaret Matthews, Matt Heverly, Norman Ahmad, Todd Litwin, Jeff Biesiadecki, Brian Cooper, Jeng Yen, Julie Townsend, Curtis Collins - Completion of system development and implementation, culminating in successful demonstrations in the Mojave Desert, and at Meteor Crater Arizona in September 2006.


Edward Tunstel - For leadership in coordinating the review of robotics related SBIR proposals for Section 347.

Yang Cheng - For organization and implementation of a reading group for vision and estimation.

Curtis Padgett - For leadership and proposal generation efforts related to the ISAT Phase 4 Proposal.

Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu - For efforts as guest editor in publishing a special issue of IEEE Robotics and Automation magazine, dedicated to MER Operations.

Edward Barlow - For dedicated efforts in rover maintenance.

Lee Magnone - For ATHLETE field test support.

Mike Garrett - For ATHLETE field test support.

Mark Powell - For ATHLETE COACH operations development and support.

Larry Matthies - For ST9 proposal efforts.

Jeff Hall - For ST9 proposal efforts.