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John L. Callas, Project Manager of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover project

 John L. Callas John L. Callas, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., has been project manager of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover project since March 2006. Previously, as science manager and then deputy project manager, he had helped lead the rover project since 2000. Callas grew up near Boston, Mass. He received his Bachelor's degree in Engineering from Tufts University, Medford, Mass., in 1981 and his Masters and Ph.D. in Physics from Brown University, Providence, R.I., in 1983 and 1987, respectively. He joined JPL to work on advanced spacecraft propulsion, which included such futuristic concepts as electric, nuclear and antimatter propulsion. In 1989 he began work supporting the exploration of Mars with the Mars Observer mission and has since worked on seven Mars missions. In addition to his Mars work, Callas is involved in the development of instrumentation for astrophysics and planetary science, and teaches mathematics at Pasadena City College as an adjunct faculty member.

Presentation: "Out of This World Cloud Computing"

Time: Friday 15:35 - 16:35

Location: Olympic Room


The Mars Exploration Rovers (MER), originally designed for only 90 days of operation, have been roving the surface of Mars for over six years. They have trekked tens of kilometers, well beyond the 1000-meter design capability and sent back over a quarter million pictures from the surface of Mars. The infrequent communication links, once or twice a day, present operations challenges, but they also epitomize bursty utilization of computational resources. The planning cycles are often as short as 4 hours, where even an hour of data processing consumes precious operational schedule. Lastly, with a global community of scientists, distributing content efficiently to the entire team is essential in conducting seamless remote operations.

This session will present MER operations as an excellent candidate for cloud computing. MER is the first NASA mission to effectively utilize a public cloud computing infrastructure and realize its benefits. We will discuss the cloud applications we have built for storage, content delivery, searching, and data processing. Come learn how this great mission of exploration has been able to use cloud services in production to solve mission critical problems, while saving money and streamlining operations. We will also cover challenges associated with security and privacy, as well as designing our services to maximize uptime and minimizing cost.