Join the live workshop on zoom, starting at 08:00 AEDT Feb 1st

Workshop format

Like the main COSPAR-2021 Assembly, the Cross-Disciplinary Workshops will feature a combination of pre-recorded talks and live sessions (panel discussions). Although pre-recorded talks will be available on-demand for the entirety of the COSPAR assembly and beyond (until Dec 31st 2021), each talk will also be assigned a unique time slot on the day of the workshop. This is to give the audience an opportunity to experience presentations together, and for live global Q&A with the presenters.


Invited talks (30 minutes)

Michael Seablom (NASA HQ)

Autonomous Capabilities for Future NASA Science Missions

Michael Seablom is the Chief Technologist for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. He has the responsibility for surveying and assessing technology needs for the Heliophysics, Astrophysics, Earth Science, and Planetary Science Divisions, and is the primary liaison to the NASA Office of Chief Technologist and the Space Technology Mission Directorate.

Salah Sukkarieh (University of Sydney & Agerris)

Intelligent Robotics in the Field

Salah Sukkarieh is the Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems at the University of Sydney, and is the CEO of Agerris, a new Agtech startup company from the ACFR developing autonomous robotic solutions to improve agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability. He was the Director Research and Innovation at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics from 2007-2018, where he led the strategic research and industry engagement program in the world’s largest field robotics institute. He is an international expert in the research, development and commercialisation of field robotic systems and has led a number of robotics and intelligent systems R&D projects in logistics, commercial aviation, aerospace, education, environment monitoring, agriculture and mining. Salah was awarded the NSW Science and Engineering Award for Excellence in Engineering and Information and Communications Technologies in 2014, the 2017 CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Innovation and Science, and the 2019 NSW Australian of the Year nominee. Salah is a Fellow of Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), and has over 500 academic and industry publications in robotics and intelligent systems.

Pierre-Philippe Mathieu (Europeean Space Agency Φ-lab)

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence for Earth Observation

Pierre-Philippe Mathieu is heading the Φ-lab Explore Office at the European Space Agency in ESRIN (Frascati, Italy), aiming to connect people, ideas and digital technologies to help shape the future of Earth Observation. He spent 20+ years working in the field of environmental and ocean modelling, weather risk management and remote sensing. He has a degree in mechanical engineering and M.Sc from University of Liege (Belgium), a Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Louvain (Belgium), and a Management Degree from the University of Reading Business School (UK).

Animesh Garg (University of Toronto & Nvidia)

Decision-Making with Causal Model

Animesh Garg is Assistant Professor of Computer Science at University of Toronto (UofT) and a Faculty Member at the Vector Institute. He directs the UofT People, AI and Robotics (PAIR) group. Animesh is affiliated with Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (courtesy) and UofT Robotics Institute, and is a Sr. Research Scientist at Nvidia. My current research focuses on machine learning algorithms for perception and control in robotics. Animesh develops algorithmic methods to enable efficient robot learning for long-term sequential tasks through Generalizable Autonomy. The principal focus of his research is to understand representations and algorithms to enable the efficiency and generality of learning for interaction in autonomous agents.

Panel Discussion: Autonomous Roving on the Moon, Mars and Beyond (60 minutes)

Moderator: Terry Fong (NASA Ames Research Center)

in conversation with

Schedule on Feb 1st 2021 (Sydney, Australia Time)

For your convenience: YouTube playlist of all talks

Authors Title Times in AEDT ⏰ convert here
Michael Seablom Invited Talk Autonomous Capabilities for Future NASA Science Missions 08:00
Pierre-Philippe Mathieu Invited Talk The Rise of Artificial Intelligence for Earth Observation 08:30
Valentina Salvatelli, Souvik Bose, Brad Neuberg, et al. Autonomous deep-space missions: can deep learning be used to optimize data transmission? 08:45
Live Q&A over zoom + 🍪 🍵 🍮 ☕️ 09:00
To submit questions, go to and enter the event code #COSPARCDW.
Terry Fong (moderator) with Issa Nesnas, Takashi Kubota & Tim Barfoot Live Panel Discussion Autonomous Roving on the Moon, Mars and Beyond zoom link 10:00
🍪 🍵 🍮 ☕️ 11:15
To submit questions, go to and enter the event code #COSPARCDW.
Salah Sukkarieh Invited Talk Intelligent Robotics in the Field 12:00
Animesh Garg Invited Talk Decision-Making with Causal Models 12:30 (live presentation)
Sreeja Nag, Mahta Moghaddam, Daniel Selva, et al. D-SHIELD: Distributed Spacecraft with Heuristic Intelligence to Enable Logistical Decisions 13:00
Gabriel Sutherland A Deep Reinforcement Learning Approach to Train Autonomous Space Debris Remediation Spacecraft 13:15
Live Q&A over zoom + 🍪 🍵 🍮 ☕️ 13:30
To submit questions, go to and enter the event code #COSPARCDW.
Eric I Lyness, Victoria Da Poian Machine Learning and the Search for Life on Mars 14:00
Lorraine M Fesq Venus Science Design Reference Missions Enabled by Autonomy 14:15
Nikhil Ranganathan, Elena Sorina Lupu, Hiroyasu Tsukamoto, et al. Autonomy Challenges for Multi-Spacecraft Exploration of Interstellar Objects and Long-Period Comets 14:30
Luiz Fernando Guedes dos Santos, Souvik Bose, Valentina Salvatelli, et al. Automating the Calibration of the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly 14:45
Live Q&A over zoom +🍪 🍵 🍮 ☕️ 15:00
To submit questions, go to and enter the event code #COSPARCDW.