Raymond Francis

Co-Investigator (Terrain Relative Navigation and Rover Team Lead)

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Dr. Raymonf Francis is a researcher at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where he operates planetary exploration missions, develops new techniques for robotic autonomy in those missions, and considers the consequences of increased autonomy for mission planning and operations.  Many of those autonomy techniques call for automated interpretation of natural environments, and he tests techniques for this in terrestrial analogues from hot deserts to cold polar environments.  He is the lead system engineer for the AEGIS automated science instrument targeting system on the Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) rover, and works in several operations roles including instrument operations for ChemCam and science activity planning roles for geology and atmospheric science. He is also the Mars 2020 Science Team Training System Engineer, working to prepare the team to operate the next Mars rover by implementing a series of analogue training exercises.  Dr. Francis holds a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Western Ontario, an MSc in Physics from the Royal Military College of Canada, and a BASc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ottawa.