<<< Previous speaker next speaker >>>

Khawaja Shams, Software Engineer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

 Khawaja  Shams Khawaja Shams is a member of the Operations Planning Software (OPS) Lab at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. At the OPS Lab, Khawaja develops software that contributes to the operations of a variety of robotic assets including ground, airborne, and waterborne robots, as well as robots on Mars. He leads a variety of software projects, and he serves as the Cognizant Engineer of server side components for the Activity Planning and Sequencing Subsystem (APSS) for the Mars Science Laboratory. Khawaja works closely with the Office of the CIO at JPL to co-lead the efforts to securely deliver the benefits of cloud computing to missions across NASA. He serves as an advisor on the CIO Technology Advisory Board (CTAB) at JPL. Khawaja obtained his bachelors in computer science from UC San Diego, and his Masters in Computer Science from Cornell. He is currently pursuing a PhD in robotics at USC under the advisement of Maja Mataric.

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.