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Formation Control Testbed (FCT)

Testbed Lead

Carl Seubert

Carl SeubertCarl Seubert is a member of the technical staff in the Guidance and Control Analysis group. He received his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2011 and is a graduate of the Colorado Center for Astrodynamic Research. For his dissertation research he designed and developed the Coulomb relative motion terrestrial testbed and investigated close proximity electrostatic motion for spacecraft formation control. He is the lead of the Formation Control Testbed (FCT) at JPL and develops algorithms and technologies for future proximity operations and spacecraft formation flight missions. He is currently working on the proximity operations GN&C for a comet sampling mission study.


Team Members

Daniel Scharf

Daniel ScharfDaniel Scharf is a Senior Engineer in the Guidance and Control Analysis Group at JPL. His work focuses on multi-spacecraft guidance, estimation, and control, adaptive and distributed control, and astrodynamics with 40+ publications in these areas. He is currently the Lead Engineer for TPF-I Formation Flying, including the 6DOF, multi-robot Formation Control Testbed. He was the Deputy Cluster Flight Manager for a DARPA F6 team and has also been the PI for a multi-year internal R&D effort focused on formation estimation, communication, and sensing, and responsible for designing and implementing (i) multi-stage controllers for optical delay lines in formation interferometers and (ii) robust adaptive controllers for the AFRL-sponsored MACE II flight experiment aboard the International Space Station. He holds a B.S.E.M. from the Univ. of Minnesota in Aerospace Engineering and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the Univ. of Michigan. He is a member of IEEE and a Senior Member of AIAA.


Paul Brugarolas

Paul Brugarolas is the Technical Group Supervisor of the Guidance and Control Analysis Group. He has over 15 years of experience in design and development of Guidance, Navigation and Control systems for NASA missions (Mars Science Laboratory, Spitzer Space Telescope, Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, and Cassini) and technology developments (Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3, OpTIIX –a robotically assembled space telescope for the ISS-, GN&C for Small Body Exploration, DARPA RescueSat study, ST6 – Autonomous Rendezvous Experiment, Stellar Interferometry Mission). His areas of expertise are GN&C system architecture, modeling, estimation and control, flight software development, testing, flight operations and project and line management. Dr. Brugarolas has received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, 6 NASA Group Achievement Awards, and 6 NASA Space Act Awards for contributions and innovations in spaceflight. Dr. Brugarolas is a senior member of the IEEE and AIAA. He has authored 32 technical papers in Journals and Conferences and 19 new technology reports. He received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California.

Joel Shields

Joel ShieldsJoel Shields is a Senior member of the Guidance and Control Analysis Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He received his B.S. degree in Applied Mechanics from U.C. San Diego in 1990 and his M.S. and Ph.D. degree in Control Systems from U.C. Berkeley in 1993 and 1997, respectively. His dissertation research was on control of exercise machines. He is the holder of a patent based on this work. Upon graduation, Dr. Shields worked as a consultant before joining the technical staff at JPL. Dr. Shields has extensive experience in design of mechatronic systems, system identification, adaptive control, precision servo control, and real time applications of control systems. At JPL he has worked on precision pointing for space based interferometry, sensing technologies, and formation flying.







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