Robert A. Jacobson

  • Ph.D.  – Aerospace Engineering, The University of Michigan (1972)
  • M.S.E. – Aerospace Engineering, The University of Michigan (1967)
  • B.S. – Aeronautical Engineering, Purdue University (1966)

Research Interests: 
  • Planetary and satellite ephemerides
  • Planetary and satellite gravity fields
  • Astrodynamics/Celestial Mechanics
  • Spacecraft navigation

Professional Experience: 
  • Current
    • Task leader for the JPL institutional natural satellite ephemerides and ephemeris   development software
    • Member of the Cassini Navigation Team
  •   Previous
    • Member of the Voyager Navigation team for the Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune encounters
    • Ephemeris and radio science support for the Galileo Mission
    • Orbit determination team lead for the Pioneer Venus Orbiter Mission
    • Navigation analyst for miscellaneous mission studies including early proposed solar electric and solar sail missions

Selected Awards: 
  • NASA Exceptional Service Medals (1990 and 2010)
  • Numerous Voyager Group Achievement Awards (1981-1990)
  • Numerous Galileo Group Achievement Awards (1991-1998)
  • JPL Honoree to the NASA Manned Flight Awareness Program (1992)
  • Asteroid no. 5636 given the name Jacobson (1994)
  • Cassini Certificate of Appreciation (2006)

Selected Publications: 
  1. R. A. Jacobson, J. P. McDanell, G.C. Rinker. Use of ballistic arcs for low thrust navigation enhancement in the 1980 Encke slow flyby. J. of Spacecraft and Rockets, 12:138-145, 1975.
  2. R. A. Jacobson and C. L. Thornton. The elements of solar sail navigation with application to a 1986 Halley’s comet rendezvous mission. J. of Guidance and Control, 1:365-371, 1978.
  3. R. A. Jacobson, S. P. Synnott, and J. K. Campbell. The orbits of the satellites of Mars from spacecraft and Earthbased observations. A&A, 225:548-554, 1989.
  4. R. A. Jacobson, J. E. Riedel, and A. H. Taylor. The orbits of Triton and Nereid from spacecraft and Earthbased observations. A&A, 247:565-575, 1991.
  5. R. A. Jacobson, et al. The masses of Uranus and its major satellites from Voyager tracking data and Earthbased Uranian satellite data. AJ, 103:2068-2078, 1992.
  6. R. A. Jacobson. The orbits of the inner Uranian satellites from Hubble Space Telescope and Voyager 2 observations. AJ, 115:1195-1199, 1998.
  7. R. A. Jacobson. The,orbits of the outer Jovian satellites. AJ, 120:2679-2686, 2000.
  8. R. A. Jacobson, et al. A comprehensive orbit reconstruction for the Galileo prime mission in the J2000 system. J. of the Astronautical Sciences, 48:495-516, 2000.
  9. R. A. Jacobson and W. M. Owen, Jr. The orbits of the inner Neptunian satellites from Voyager, Earthbased, and Hubble Space Telescope observations. AJ, 128:1412-1417, 2004.
  10. R. A. Jacobson, et al. The gravity field of the Saturnian system from satellite observations and spacecraft tracking data. AJ, 132:2520-2526, 2006.
  11. R. A. Jacobson, et al. Revised orbits of Saturn’s small inner satellites. AJ, 135:261-263, 2008.
  12. R. A. Jacobson.  The orbits of the Neptunian satellites and the orientation of the pole of Neptune. AJ, 137:4322-4329, 2009.
  13. R. A. Jacobson, et al. Irregular satellites of the outer planets: orbital uncertainties and astrometric recoveries in 2009-2011. AJ, 144:132, 2012.
  14. R. A. Jacobson and V. Lainey, Martian Satellite Orbits and Ephemerides. Planet. Space Sci. 102:35-44, 2014.
  15. R. A. Jacobson. The Orbits of the Uranian Satellites and Rings, the Gravity Field of the Uranian System, and the Orientation of the Pole of Uranus. AJ, 148:76-88, 2014.
Robert A. Jacobson
4800 Oak Grove Dr.
Pasadena, CA 91109
Phone: 818.354.7201
Fax Number: 818.354.3822