Much of my career has been spent performing research and developing algorithms and software for autonomous rovers for Mars exploration (as well as for Earth and asteroid applications). This involves determining new and efficient ways to use sensors and computers to enable rovers to "think" in order to navigate rough and rugged planetary surfaces in a safe and reliable manner.
I coordinated major remote Earth-based field tests for MER using the FIDO rover and led the FIDO rover engineering team in executing those field tests to help prepare MER science personnel for operating the rovers on Mars. I later served as a flight systems engineer for the autonomous surface navigation function, participating in the design and testing of the navigation and mobility capabilities. This included coordinating the design and installation of rover testbed facilities and systems as well as conducting the first remote field test using a MER engineering model rover. During MER mission operations, I serve as the Mobility/IDD subsystem Lead on the Spacecraft/Rover Engineering Team. This subsystem consists of a team of engineers responsible for assessing, analyzing, and diagnosing the rovers' performance while driving and using the robotic arm on Mars, as well as advising mission operators on how to best operate the rovers throughout the mission based on their performance.