Five Faculty Members Selected as CSTAR 2016 Summer Fellows@JPL

The Center for Space Technology and Research (CSTAR) has recently announced the selection of five Georgia Tech faculty members as 2016 Summer Fellows@JPL. The fellows will spend a portion of this summer on-site at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) pursuing research collaborations that advance the frontiers of space science and space technology.

The CSTAR Summer Fellows@JPL program is designed to promote and encourage collaboration between Georgia Tech and JPL, focusing on research collaborations in science and engineering fields of mutual interest. Prospective proposers are encouraged to submit research proposals that align with CSTAR research thrusts, identify JPL interests and collaborators, and describe the downstream impact of the summer collaborations. The yearly proposal cycle includes a November proposal call, December proposal submission, and January proposal selection. All Georgia Tech academic faculty are eligible to apply.

“These competitively awarded research grants build on the strengths of both JPL and Georgia Tech,” said Georgia Tech Professor and CSTAR Director Robert Braun. “They are designed to foster future research collaborations between these two institutions, and are well aligned with our nation’s future needs in space science and space technology.”

The faculty selected for the 2016 Summer Fellows@JPL program and their research topics are as follows:

  • Mark Costello (AE): Robotic Legged Landing Gear for Spacecraft
  • Glenn Lightsey (AE): Design Drivers and Solutions for Reliable Small Satellite Science Missions
  • Julian Rimoli (AE): Tensegrity Structures for Planetary Landing
  • Paul Steffes (ECE): Improved Radio Occultation Retrievals Of Terrestrial Atmospheric Structure And Composition
  • Panos Tsiotras (AE): Covariance Steering Theory for Precise GN&C Terrain Relative Navigation during Entry, Descent and Landing

"The CSTAR Summer Fellows@JPL program provides an excellent opportunity to connect leading Georgia Tech faculty with researchers at JPL,” said JPL Chief Scientist Daniel McCleese. “The exciting projects chosen this year will open up new collaborations, and enhance both JPL and Georgia Tech's space science and engineering efforts.” In 2012 Georgia Tech and JPL entered into a strategic partnership designed to promote and encourage collaboration between the institutions. CSTAR serves as the Georgia Tech focal point for this newly established partnership with JPL.

The Center for Space Technology and Research (CSTAR) is an interdisciplinary research center that serves to organize, integrate and facilitate the impact of Georgia Tech's space science and space technology research activities. CSTAR brings together a wide range of Georgia Tech faculty, active in space science and space technology research, and functions as the Georgia Tech focal point for growth of the space industry in the state of Georgia. CSTAR is led by Dr. Braun who serves as the Director and Dr. Thomas Orlando, Associate Director.

For more information about the Center for Space Technology and Research (CSTAR), visit:

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