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Formation Modeling

Task Manager

Cheng-Chih Chu, Ph.D.

Dr. Cheng-Chih (Chester) Chu received his B.S. in Control Engineering from National Chiao-Tung University in Taiwan, M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Ph.D. in Control Science from University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology in 1987 and is currently the Technical Group Supervisor for the Simulation and Verification Group in Autonomy and Control Section. His research interests are in the area of robust control, control of flexible structures, feature recognition and tracking, autonomous rendezvous, and high performance distributed simulation technology. Dr. Chu is a member of IEEE.

Team Members

Johnny Chang (Parallel Computing, Algorithms)

Johnny Chang is a software engineer and a member of the technical staff of Simulation and Verification Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. At JPL, he is currently involved in developing high-performance distributed and parallel simulation software supporting DST (Distributed Spacecraft Technology), SIM (Space Interferometry Mission) and MSL (Mar Science Laboratory). He has also worked on various JPL projects, including mission concept study of cooperative autonomous sensor herds for Titan exploration, LAMP (Laser Mapper) rendezvous software, pattern light surface reconstruction, and automated C. elegans motion tracking. He received his B.S from U.C. Berkeley in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering in 2000, and his M.S. in Computer Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2002.

Bryan J. Martin, Ph.D.

Dr. Martin is a Senior Staff Engineer in the Engineering and Science Directorate, Avionic Systems and Technology Division, Autonomy and Control Section, Simulations and Verification group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He received both his M.S. (in 1993) and Ph.D. (in 1996) from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California at Irvine. He subsequently worked as the Principle Engineer at Southwest Aerospace in southern California on hardware and software related to the simulation and tracking of autonomous air vehicles, also serving as a visiting lecturer at UC Irvine, prior to coming to JPL. Currently, he leads a research program in high-fidelity, distributed simulation for formation flying, and also leads the Control Simulation Testbed task for the Real-Time Control subsystem of the Space Interferometry Mission. Dr. Martin's research interests include geometric methods in mechanics, multi-body dynamics, motion planning and optimization, and robotics.

Garett Sohl, Ph.D. (High-Fidelity Dynamics, Algorithms)

Garett Sohl received his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Rice University in 1993. He then attended the University of California, Irvine where he received a masters degree (1997) and Ph.D. (2000) in mechanical and aerospace engineering. His Ph.D. thesis, entitled " Optimal Motions for Underactuated Manipulators", employs a Lie algebra based recursive dynamics formulation to optimizing motions for a general class of multi-body, branched chains. He has an extensive background in multi-body dynamic simulation. He is currently employed as a staff engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he provides simulation and modeling support for the ROAMS rover simulation task as well as researching technologies for formation flying simulation applications.

Scott Ploen, Ph.D (Multi-rate Integration Design)

Dr. Scott R. Ploen is a Senior Engineer in the Guidance and Control Analysis Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He received his B.S. in Bioengineering (with honors) from the Department of Applied Mechanics and Engineering Sciences (AMES) at the University of California, San Diego in 1991. He received both his M.S. in 1994 and Ph.D. in 1997 from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Ploen's research interests include geometric methods in mechanics, multibody dynamics, robotics, and nonlinear geometric control theory. He is currently a visiting lecturer at UC Irvine and is a member of IEEE, ASME, AIAA, ASEE, and SIAM.

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