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Dr. Ashwati Das

Systems Engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Ashwati joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a Systems Engineer after completing her Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University with a dissertation on fusing the exploration of complex astrodynamical regimes with machine learning and artificial intelligence approaches. Such approaches could lead to greater operations efficiency, improved mission resiliency and mission-enabling trajectory designs. During her time as a graduate student in the Multi-Body Dynamics group at Purdue, she conducted research on the application of machine learning techniques to the design of transfer trajectories and recovery operations in the Earth-Moon system. During the course of her graduate career, she also provided trajectory analysis for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Orbital ATK. Ashwati also led student-driven concept development as the Principal Investigator of a Trojan asteroid rendezvous mission study at Purdue, and as the Mission Design Chair for NASA JPL’s 2016 Planetary Science Summer School. She performed research in conjunction with Purdue’s Systems-of-Systems Lab during this time as well, helping assess functional flow-down and system failure/developmental delays at the mission architecture level for NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

In her position at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, she works on fault detection and recovery for the Europa Clipper mission, aiming to help develop a sound system architecture for successful operations. Ashwati worked as an intern at JPL before attaining her current position, during which time she delivered trade space analyses related to Mars Sample Return and Europa Lander mission concepts. In addition to her research, she helped found and led the Purdue Mars student organization to create awareness in the community about space exploration, and sought to inspire the next generation to join the space journey through outreach such as Purdue Space Day. As an active member of the Space Generation Advisory Council, she has been an Early Career Awardee at the National Academies Space Science Week 2019, has served as rapporteur for the Space Generation Congress 2018 and is an organizing committee member for the Space Generation Fusion Forum 2020.

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