W 91st Ln Arvada, co



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William J. Pisano, Ph.D.

14321 W 91st Ln

Arvada, CO


303-594-3628

William.J.Pisano@lmco.com

William.Pisano@gmail.com

Profile


Skilled research and development engineer with Doctorate in Aerospace Engineering and Certificate in Management of Research and Development. Strong background in spacecraft and aircraft guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C), embedded electronics design and programming, design and analysis of dynamic control systems, and combined systems engineering. Experienced and educated in managing projects from conception to completion. Experienced in teaching at the college level to both undergraduate and graduate students. Interests are in the research and application of control systems theory and embedded systems for all types of applications.

Skills


  • Attitude Determination and state propagation (e.g. Kalman Filters)

  • Modeling and control of articulating spacecraft appendages

  • Pointing control algorithm design for automatic RF acquisition and tracking (Information Filters, etc.)

  • Mission analysis and attitude/articulation design (Field of View concerns, instrument placement/orientation)

  • Satellite operations experience

  • Software experience in MATLAB/Simulink/SimMechanics, STK, Altium Designer (circuit board design)

  • Power user in Windows / UNIX / Linux

  • Programming Languages: C, C++, UNIX/Linux shell, html, SVG, postscript, assembly, Matlab

  • RF engineering experience (Radar, antenna design and calibration)

  • Dynamic system modeling (rotary and fixed wing aircraft, spacecraft)

  • Control systems design and implementation (frequency domain, state-space, nonlinear, adaptive, discrete)

  • Filtering and Estimation Algorithms (Linear & Extended Kalman, Batch, Recursive Least Squares, etc.)

  • Micro electronics design and prototyping experience

  • Unmanned helicopter and airplane design, fabrication, and flight testing experience

  • Chip level GPS experience (RF, constellation, multipath, atmospheric interference, computing concerns)

  • Mechanical design and fabrication experience

  • Extensive experience with Microchip’s PIC microcontrollers and development environments

  • Internet web server & page construction and maintenance (Windows and Linux based servers)

Experience


Infiniti Engineering (Contractor to Lockheed Martin Space Systems)

Guidance Navigation and Control (GN&C) Engineer

  • MAVEN (Mars Orbiter, LM Sensing and Exploration Systems): 2009 – Present

    • Subject Matter Expert for: Attitude Determination, instrument platform keep-out-zones, instrument platform on-orbit calibration design, Vehicle mode pointing definitions, articulation control, vehicle real-time GN&C operations, systems–level pointing and alignment analysis and verification

    • Planned part of the GN&C operations team post-launch, and ongoing participant in operations readiness tests (ORTs) leading up to launch.

    • Mission Analysis such as Instrument Field of View analysis, Sun and Planet views/occultations, instrument blockage by articulating appendages, and attitude visualizations

    • Attitude design for science collection based on the needs of several instruments located both on the spacecraft and on an articulable platform

    • Scientist (Customer) interfacing and support, i.e. clarifying instrument pointing requirements, describing GN&C capabilities, discussing and iterating on attitude approaches.

    • Other GN&C analysis including cruise phase attitude and momentum analysis, rate damping, sun sensing, safe mode attitude determination and control



  • InSight (Mars Lander, LM Sensing and Exploration Systems) 2013-Present

    • Subject Matter Expert for: Attitude Determination, Entry sequencing and attitude/state propagation, Terminal Descent Kalman inertial/RADAR filter

    • Attitude Determination system is based off of my designs for the MAVEN program (now part of the S&ES standard GN&C system) with some Lander-specific modifications



  • Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (LM Human Spaceflight division): 2009-2011

    • Solar Array Drive Assembly (SADA) dynamic modeling and control in Matlab/Simulink/SimMechanics

    • Providing GN&C interfacing / support to the EPS team in charge of the SADA

    • High Gain Antenna (HGA) dynamic modeling and control in Matlab/Simulink/SimMechanics

    • GN&C interfacing / support to the C&T team in charge of the HGA

    • Phased array antenna pointing, both on-orbit and during re-entry/descent phases

    • Development of a novel approach for acquisition and tracking of a orbital rendezvous vehicle using RF information only

University of Colorado – Ph.D. Candidate/ Research Assistant, Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, National Science Foundation Information Technology Research Grant #ITR-0427947, January 2005-May 2009.

  • Accomplished the design and implementation of a 19-gram autopilot system from inception to completion (circuitry, software, and control algorithms) that has been proven capable of fully autonomous flight in many hours of flight tests on multiple varying aircraft types.

  • Designed 19 gram CUPIC avionics board from circuit design and CAD to manual prototype construction and testing, and modified later generations for autonomous airplane control

  • Coordinated with PCB manufacturer and PCB population companies

  • Developed CUPIC airplane flight software including real-time operating system, control system, navigation algorithms, and hardware interface level coding for GPS, radio communication, backup pilot control, and analog sensors

  • Developed mathematical dynamic models and Simulink simulations for control system development

  • Control system design focused on simplicity of operation and efficient use of available sensor data and processing resources, enabling a cost-effective yet capable system

  • Implemented a globally converging vector field guidance system, which serves as the basis for the autonomous waypoint navigation system (See publications #3, #6 and #7)

  • Final CUPIC weighs less than half an ounce and is completely capable of controlling an autonomous airplane from take-off to landing (See publication #8)

  • CUPIC hardware and support has been given to multiple senior project groups at CU

  • Current aircraft capable of fully autonomous takeoff (using an on-board avionics triggered launcher), arbitrary waypoint navigation, and landing

  • Several successful multi-vehicle tests to date, including a five plane flight with a single operator (backup pilots were in place for safety)

  • Developed a Matlab-based ground control graphical interface that allows a single operator to control five or more autonomous aircraft

  • Developed a set of algorithms to cooperatively control several aircraft in a coordinated search and data acquisition mission for toxic plume characterization (See publication #11)

  • Developed an artificial intelligence search algorithm to determine the ideal flight path to quickly identify the source of a toxic chemical plume (See publication #5)

  • Developed and flight-verified an unstable unmanned aircraft and corresponding control system to test the theory that certain unconventional design traits increase the ability of a small unmanned aircraft to fly in extreme conditions, with eventual applications in tornado chasing missions (See publications #1, #2 and #4).

University of Colorado –Instructor – ASEN 5519 – Microcontrollers for Aerospace Applications, Fall Semester 2007

  • Solo Lecturer / Instructor for the course

  • Ran and assisted students in weekly laboratory sessions

  • Managed all aspects of the course (grading, website, exams, etc.)

  • Course covered embedded systems based on a Microchip 8-bit PIC microcontroller

  • Topics included programming in assembly and in C, timing, memory types and allocations, LCD interfaces, synchronous and asynchronous off-chip communications, hardware interfaces, actuator control, user interfaces, data acquisition, and digital signal processing

  • Developed roughly half of the course, the other half had evolved over previous years

University of Colorado –Masters Candidate Research Assistant, Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences Colorado Center for Atmospheric Research (CCAR), National Science Foundation Grant # OPP-9981903, May 2004-December 2004.

  • Development of an autonomous unmanned helicopter system for calibration of radar antenna equipment

  • Designed first generation of the CUPIC avionics board from circuit design to CAD

  • Developed a complete dynamics model of the helicopter and implemented model in Simulink for simulation and control system design

  • Performed extensive control system study (See Master’s thesis, publications #11 & #12)

  • Implemented and tested control system on CUPIC avionics aboard helicopter

  • Deployed unmanned helicopter system at the South Pole in February 2006, and at Point Barrow, Alaska in May of 2006

  • Experience working with the other aspects of radar systems and RF engineering, specifically the meteorite radar system which was being calibrated

University of Colorado – Teaching Assistant, ASEN 5519 - Microcontrollers for Aerospace Applications, Fall semester 2004, 2005, and 2006.

  • Occasional lecturing

  • Developing lab assignments

  • Assisting students in lab assignments

  • Grading

  • Web site management

University of Colorado – Teaching Assistant, ASEN 3300 – Electronics and Communications. Spring semester 2004.

  • Responsibilities included assisting students with lab assignments and grading

Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) – Command Controller, Flight Operations, June 2001 – May 2004.

  • Real-time satellite command and controlling

  • UNIX-based scripting and programming for satellite support

  • Satellite operations missions included the Student Nitric Oxide Explorer (SNOE), QuikScat oceanic wind speed scatterometer satellite, Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE), and the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation satellite (ICEsat)

  • Provided Command and Control support to Ball Aerospace for pre-launch activities on ICEsat

  • Launch support for ICEsat

  • Geo-science Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) operations subsystem lead for ICEsat

Education





Doctorate of Philosophy, Aerospace Engineering

University of Colorado

May 2009

Dissertation topic: The Development of a Fully Autonomous Gust Insensitive Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.

Certificate in Management of Research and Development 2008

Engineering Management Program

University of Colorado

Master of Science, Aerospace Engineering

University of Colorado

2006

Thesis topic: Computationally Efficient Control Methods and Hardware for Autonomous Antenna Calibration.

Bachelor of Science, Aerospace Engineering

University of Colorado

Concurrent BS/MS program. Senior Project topic: Embedded Closed Loop Yaw Control of a Coaxial Rotary Wing Aircraft.

2006

Publications





[1] W.J. Pisano, “The Development of a Fully Autonomous Gust Insensitive Unmanned Aerial Vehicle”, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Colorado, May 2009.

[2] W.J. Pisano, D.A. Lawrence, “Control Concerns for Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Turbulent Environments”, AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, Chicago, IL, August 2009

[3] D.A. Lawrence, E.W. Frew, and W.J. Pisano “Lyapunov Vector Fields for Autonomous Unmanned Aircraft Flight Control”, AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Volume 31, Number 5, pg 1220, September-October 2008

[4] W.J. Pisano, D.A. Lawrence, “Autonomous Gust Insensitive Aircraft”, AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, Honolulu, HI, August 2008

[5] W.J. Pisano, D.A. Lawrence, “Data Dependant Motion Planning for UAV Plume Localization”, AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, Hilton Head, SC, August 2007, AIAA-2007-6740

[6] D.A. Lawrence, E.W. Frew, and W.J. Pisano “Lyapunov Vector Fields for Autonomous UAV Flight Control”, AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, Hilton Head, SC, August 2007

[7] E. W. Frew, D.A. Lawrence, C. Dixon, J. Elston, and W.J. Pisano, “Lyapunov Guidance Vector Fields for Unmanned Aircraft Applications”, Proceedings 2007 American Control Conference, New York, NY, June 2007.

[8] W.J. Pisano, D.A. Lawrence, P.C. Gray, “Autonomous UAV Control Using a 3-Sensor Autopilot,” Proc. AIAA Infotech@Aerospace Conf., Sonoma, CA, May 2007, AIAA-2007-2756

[9] J. Allred, A.B. Hasan, S. Panichsakul, W. Pisano, P. Gray, J. Huang, R. Han, D. Lawrence, and K. Mohseni, SensorFlock: An airborne wireless sensor network of micro-air vehicles, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems, pp 117-129, 2007, Sydney, Australia.

[10] W. J. Pisano, D. A. Lawrence, and K. Mohseni, “Concentration Gradient and Information Energy for Decentralized UAV Control”, Proc. AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conf., Keystone, CO, August 2006, AIAA 2006–6459.

[11] W.J. Pisano, “Computationally Efficient Control Methods and Hardware for Autonomous Antenna Calibration”, Master’s Thesis, University of Colorado, December 2005.

[12] W.J. Pisano, D. Lawrence, and S. Palo, “Low-Cost UAV Avionics for Autonomous Antenna Calibration”, Proc. AIAA Infotech@Aerospace Conf., Arlington, VA, September 2005, AIAA 2005-7150.

Other interests


  • Avid skier

  • Construction / Home Improvement – While in graduate school as a hobby and investment I finished my basement, built a deck, fence, and shed for my house. I have done all the framing, plumbing, electrical, and finishing work myself and with the help of family and friends, learning how along the way from books and the internet.

  • Member of the CU marching band for 5 years (2000-2005) with several years of leadership roles. Musical instruments include guitar, saxophone, trumpet, baritone, and tuba.

  • Black Belt in Shao-lin Kung-Fu

  • Certified SCUBA diver

  • Over 1000 hours of community service in high school, including Habitat for Humanity and youth corps (town parks maintenance, trail construction and maintenance, planting trees, etc.)

  • World travels have included Thailand, Africa, Scotland, Mexico, Belize, Alaska (Point Barrow Research Station), New Zealand, and Antarctica (McMurdo and South Pole Research Station), always looking forward to the next adventure

REFERENCES

Dale A. Lawrence

Associate Professor

Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences

Research and Engineering Center for Unmanned Vehicles (RECUV)

University of Colorado

Boulder, CO 80309

303-492-3025



Dale.Lawrence@Colorado.EDU
Scott Palo

Associate Professor

Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences

Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research (CCAR)

Research and Engineering Center for Unmanned Vehicles (RECUV)

University of Colorado

Boulder, CO 80309-0429

303-492-4289



Scott.Palo@colorado.edu

Eric W. Frew

Assistant Professor

Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences

Research and Engineering Center for Unmanned Vehicles (RECUV)

University of Colorado



429 UCB

Boulder, CO 80302



(303) 735-1285

Eric.Frew@Colorado.EDU
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