Low Res [360KB]  Hi Res [12MB]Photo taken by Colan Kwock

Todd Mendenhall

Role: Theoretical Project Lead - Prime job consists of attempting to herd the cats. Second task is to try and keep the all-volunteer group learning and having fun. Technical contributions include motor, pneumatics and generator controllers as well as steering algorithms.

Background: MSME from UCLA, BSME from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The bulk of my practical controls experience comes from participating in the design, manufacture, testing and on-orbit checkout of three satellites. The bulk of my mechanical experience comes from the design, construction and maintenance of combat robots built for Robot Wars, Robotica and BattleBots. Basically, I learned from being around a lot of smart people.

Description: The TerraHawk program has completely consumed my life for the past 30 months. If it wasn't for my highly supportive wife, I would have gone "postal" long ago. In fact, it would have probably been so bad that after my actions, people would threaten to go "TerraHawk". After this is over, I want to get back to more benign tinkering.

Back to top.
Valerie Mendenhall

Role: Wife Raft (aka ‘Life Raft’) – general support and encourager to my husband, Todd, in his role as team lead. I also occasionally serve in a minor systems engineering capacity, financial data entry, data management, and more often Chief Food Provider for the team (to include dessert!)

Background: B.S.E.E., B.S. in Physics, B.S. in Mathematics, M.S. in Optics 5 years experience at TRW as an optical engineer 10 years experience at TRW/Northrop Grumman as a systems engineer 2 years experience at Northrop Grumman in program management 1.5 years experience at Terabeam as a systems engineer

Description: Valerie highly values her degree and work experience in optical engineering, but appreciates having broadened into systems engineering. As a systems engineer, she’s been challenged by working on many large optical systems for NASA and the Department of Defense. She also has experience working in a small free space optical communications company. Valerie’s scarce free time is spent on volunteer activities (which have taken her to Cambodia to see firsthand how a non-profit relief organization works, i.e., World Vision) and pursuing non-technical, creative pursuits - quilting, scrapbooking and rubber stamping among them. She loves documenting TerraHawk’s development process because it gives her an excuse to use her digital SLR camera!

Back to top.
Aaron Shumate

Role: Robotic Vision Processing (Image capture/processing, road/obstacle detection)

Background: MS in EE. Currently working for Northrop Grumman in embedded flight software development. Resume.

Description: 31 years old. Originally from Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Currently living in California. Data pack rat (6TB and growing). Native American. Eagle Scout. Star Trek fan. Very happily married to his bunny soul mate (sorry girls).

Back to top.
Hobson Lane

Role: Sensor Fusion Software

Background: BS in Physics, BA in English, MS in Dynamics and Controls

Description: When he's not working on TerraHawk he's working on his sailboat (the future AquaHawk?). He's a Section Head in the Controls Department and stubborn promoter of advanced autonomy technology at NGST.

Back to top.
Denny Gudea

Role: writing software to fix broken hardware

Background: BS in CS from CSUF, Current day job is flight software development.

Description: Denny is your typical software geek. He chews on zip ties and wears sandals on rainy days. When he is not writing software for spacecraft during the day and not writing software for terrahawk during the night, he enjoys sleeping. Denny is currently living as a pirate aboard a ship named after his mother.

Back to top.
Greg Shreve

Role: Sensor Processing Architecture and Algorithms

Background: System engineering, signal processing algorithm development, electronic hardware engineering, and management for projects involving commuications, video, radar and other sensors. Inventor or co-inventor on 14 patents in radar signal processing, video and vision processing, applications of ultrawideband radar, and neural networks. Education: MS, Electrical Engineering, 1976, Ohio State University. BS, Astronomy, 1974, Ohio State University.

Description: Used to take pictures using film. Used to work in darkroom all night. Used to dabble with electronic music and multitrack. Used to drive Volkswagen bug. Used to use Macintosh computer. Used to do amateur radio. Used to hike. Used to ride bicycle. Used to read science fiction. Keeps up with science and space progress. Boots up GPS for trips to Radio Shack. Likes Star Trek.

Back to top.
John Davis

Role: Develop software to support visual road-following.

Background: Physicist doing large software simulations on massively parallel systems, now retired.

Description: Retirement? What's that? We have four grandsons, ages 7 months to 9 years, only a half-mile away. (Our son and daughter-in-law live there too.)

Back to top.
Jim Hart

Role: I’m mainly involved in the electronic/electrical aspects of the project, building, fixing and wiring most everything that is required. Having a mechanical background I can also fabricate. My main job is to be sure the software group has something to write code for.

Background: Degree in mechanics, current day job is aerospace electronics test engineer.

Description: Typical gadget freak. When not taking stuff apart to see how it works I enjoy landsailing, off-roading, computers and reading. Thanks to Todd Mendenhall I've also been involved in combat robotics. Any spare time is spent sleeping.

Back to top.
John Rendler

Role: Route planning, development of PIC based control system, helping design & fabricate hardware that can withstand Denny's software!

Background: BSME 2003 San Jose State University, Built an eight legged "Spider" robot for the SAE Walking Machine Contest. Currently working for Northrop Grumman as a Laser and Sensor Systems Engineer

Description: Jack of all trades, Master of none! Crazy about robotics, automation, and anything autonomous. Loud, dangerous, and expensive preferred. Likes robots, 4x4s, beach volleyball, and camping.

Back to top.
Mark Hardgrove

Role: Computing Systems, IT

Back to top.
Nelson Cade

Role: GPS

Background: BS Aerospace Engineering (USC), Post-Graduate Certificate in Astronautical Engineering (UCLA)

Description: Systems / Operations Engineer. Enjoys smiling and having fun. Driven by challenges and accomplishing what most say can't be done. Willing to try almost anything at least once. Also enjoys hitting a golf ball very hard and far, playing baseball/softball and taking pride in children's accomplishments.

Back to top.
Duaine Demus

Role: Radar/Ladar Software Development

Background: I am a computer programmer with 25 yr of exp. in various systems including radar.

Description: A father of 3 girls. I love Track & Field, And my middle child was on the 2004 Olympiad team

Back to top.
Dan Hirsch

Role: Writes tons of scripts... and tinkers with computer vision. Nifty hacks on the web are also his job

Background: Classes in C++ and Java programming; self-taught in just about everything else. Actually, self-taught in C++, the class was just to brush up. Has been a Linux addict for over two and a half years.

Description: Youngest member on the team; still in high school. Looking at getting an engineering degree. Writes tersely. Codes very fast, but whether that code works is another story.

Back to top.
Don Lariviere

Role: Fabricator

Background: A couple months makin stuff. Many years of experience taking apart and breaking things.

Description: White, Balding, Fat, Poor Attitude. In his spare time, Don enjoys driving tractors and cruising around in his vette.

Back to top.
David Liu

Role: ladar sensor processing

Background: BSEE, MSEE and PHDEE control systems candidate all in UCLA

Description: late comer to the terraengineering project, glad that some effort is implemented and used in the final product. Enjoy parttime work in NGC and parttime student status. Like to solve math problem, neat or interesting problem only , not those big thorem or century-old unsolvables. Used to be good in physics, but too much EE recently.

Back to top.
Katherine Macqueen

Role: Embedded PIC Development

Back to top.
Jonathan Mead

Role: Generator Control

Back to top.
Scott Miller

Role: Software Development: Kalman Filter, Sensor Processing

Description: One of a few engineers that rides a harley.

Back to top.
Lael Rudd

Role: Controls Algorithms and Processing

Back to top.
John Shepanski

Role: Sensor Algorithms and Processing

Back to top.
Jim Wilcox

Role: GPS-inertial navigation subsystem software requirements.

Background: Controls and estimation engineering for 46 years at Sperry Gyroscope Co., TRW/NGST.

Description: Enjoying Retirement.

Back to top.