Professor of Systems and Industrial Engineering
Director, Space Situational Awareness
Dr. Furfaro is currently Full Professor, Department of Systems and Industrial Engineering, Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Arizona. He is also the Deputy Director of the Space, Security, Safety & Sustainability Center (S4C). He obtained a Laurea Degree (M.S. equivalent) in Aeronautical Engineering (1998, University of Rome “La Sapienza”) and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering (2004, University of Arizona). He has a broad range of expertise and research interests and has been working on a numerous and diverse projects including development of guidance navigation and control of planetary landers, systems engineering for close-proximity operations on small bodies, machine learning applications to space situational awareness and G&C for hypersonic vehicles. He has served as PI and Co-PI of numerous high-impact research and development grants with a total amount of funds received by NASA, AFRL and other agencies over the past 15 years exceeding $80M. He published more than 80 peer-reviewed journal papers and more than 200 conference papers and abstracts. Since 2013, he has been appointed technical member of the American Astronautical Society (AAS) Space Flight Mechanics committee and he served as Technical Chair of the 2015 AAS/AIAA Spaceflight Mechanic Meeting (Williamsburg Virginia). He is currently technical member of the AIAA Astrodynamics Committee and the AAS Space Surveillance Committee as well as Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems. During phase B-D (2011-2016) of the OSIRIS REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission, he was the systems engineering lead for the Science Processing and Operations (SPOC). He is currently the Target Follow-up WG lead for the NASA NEO Surveyor Mission. For his contribution to the OSIRIS REx mission, the asteroid 2003 WX3 was renamed 133474 Roberto Furfaro. Recently, Prof. Furfaro has been elected the 2021 Da Vinci Fellow at the College of Engineering, University of Arizona. Additionally, Prof. Furfaro has been elected AIAA Associate Fellow, Class 2022 and AAS Fellow, Class 2021.
- Furfaro, R. (2011). ASTER imaging and analysis of glacier hazards. In Remote Sensing and Digital Image Processing.
- Furfaro, R. (2020). Adaptive generalized ZEM-ZEV feedback guidance for planetary landing via a deep reinforcement learning approach. Acta Astronautica.
- Furfaro, R. (2020). Adaptive guidance and integrated navigation with reinforcement meta-learning. Acta Astronautica.
- Furfaro, R. (2020). Deep Reinforcement Learning for Six Degree-of-Freedom Planetary Landing. Advances in Space Research.
- Furfaro, R. (2020). Least-squares solution of a class of optimal space guidance problems via Theory of Connections. Acta Astronautica.
- Furfaro, R. (2019). A quasi-static approach for the solution of steady-state linear transport problems. Annals of Nuclear Energy.
- Furfaro, R. (2019). Constraining the thermal properties of planetary surfaces using machine learning: Application to airless bodies. Icarus.
- Furfaro, R. (2019). Corrigendum to “Integrated guidance for Mars entry and powered descent using reinforcement learning and pseudospectral method” (Acta Astronautica (2019) 163(PB) (114–129), (S0094576518313043), (10.1016/j.actaastro.2018.12.033)). Acta Astronautica.
- Furfaro, R. (2019). GLAM Bio-Lith RT: A Tool for Remote Sensing Reflectance Simulation and Water Components Concentration Retrieval in Glacial Lakes. Frontiers in Earth Science.
- Furfaro, R. (2019). Integrated guidance for Mars entry and powered descent using reinforcement learning and pseudospectral method. Acta Astronautica.
- Furfaro, R. (2019). Realistic On-the-fly Outcomes of Planetary Collisions: Machine Learning Applied to Simulations of Giant Impacts. Astrophysical Journal.
- Furfaro, R. (2019). Theoretical evaluation of anisotropic reflectance correction approaches for addressing multi-scale topographic effects on the radiation-transfer cascade in mountain environments. Remote Sensing.
- Furfaro, R. (2018). Reactivity determination using the hybrid transport point kinetics and the area method. Annals of Nuclear Energy.
- Furfaro, R. (2018). Surface Composition of (99942) Apophis. The Astronomical Journal.
- Furfaro, R. (2017). Application of Extreme Learning Machines to inverse neutron kinetics. Annals of Nuclear Energy.
- Furfaro, R. (2017). Application of the Transport-Driven Diffusion Approach for Criticality Calculations. Journal of Computational and Theoretical Transport.
- Furfaro, R. (2020). A Guidance Law for Terminal Phase Exo-Atmospheric Interception Against a Maneuvering Target using Angle-Only Measurements Optimized using Reinforcement Meta-Learning. In AIAA Scitech 2020 Forum.
- Furfaro, R. (2020). Image-based Deep Reinforcement Learning for Autonomous Lunar Landing. In AIAA Scitech 2020 Forum.
- Furfaro, R. (2019). Actor-critic reinforcement learning approach to relative motion guidance in near-rectilinear orbit. In Advances in the Astronautical Sciences.
- Furfaro, R. (2019). Modeling imaging uncertainty for OSIRIS-REx’s asteroid approach observations. In Advances in the Astronautical Sciences.
- Furfaro, R. (2018). Application of ZEM/ZEV guidance for closed-loop transfer in the earth-moon system. In Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, 2018.
- Furfaro, R. (2018). Computational guidance for Mars entry and power descent. In Advances in the Astronautical Sciences.
- Furfaro, R. (2018). Deep learning for autonomous lunar landing. In Advances in the Astronautical Sciences.
- Furfaro, R. (2018). Human exploration of the Moon, Near-Earth Asteroids, and Mars using staging from Earth-Moon L-2 orbits and phasing orbit rendezvous. In Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC.
- Furfaro, R. (2018). Integrated guidance and control for pinpoint mars landing using reinforcement learning. In Advances in the Astronautical Sciences.
- Furfaro, R. (2018). LUMIO: Characterizing lunar meteoroid impacts with a CubeSat. In Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC.
- Furfaro, R. (2018). Lumio: Achieving autonomous operations for lunar exploration with a cubesat. In 15th International Conference on Space Operations, 2018.
- Furfaro, R. (2018). Smart camera system on-board a CubeSat for space-based object reentry and tracking. In 2018 IEEE/ION Position, Location and Navigation Symposium, PLANS 2018 - Proceedings.
- Furfaro, R. (2018). Theory of connections applied to first-order system of ordinary differential equations subject to component constraints. In Advances in the Astronautical Sciences.
- Furfaro, R. (2018). Uncertainty quantification for mars atmospheric entry using modified generalized polynomial chaos. In Advances in the Astronautical Sciences.
- Furfaro, R. (2018). Waypoint-based ZEM/ZEV feedback guidance: Applications to low-thrust interplanetary transfer and orbit raising. In Advances in the Astronautical Sciences.
- Amato, D., Rosengren, A. J., & Furfaro, R. (2018, July). Solving the main problem in satellite theory through recurrent neural networks. 42nd Scientific Assembly of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). Pasadena, California.
- Furfaro, R. (2016, Spring). Mars-Lunar Greenhouse (M-LGH) Prototype at the University of Arizona: Status and Path Forward.. 7th International AgroSpace Workshop Mars – A Long Way to Go. Sperlonga (LT) [former] Santa Maria Church, May, 26th – 27th 2016.
- Schulze-Makuch, D., Fink, W., Head, J. N., Houtkooper, J. M., Knoblauch, M., Furfaro, R., Fairen, A. G., Vali, H., Sears, S. K., Daly, M., Deamer, D., Schmidt, H., Hawkins, A. R., Sun, H. J., Lim, D. S., Dohm, J., Irwin, L. N., Davila, A. F., Mendez, A., & Andersen, D. (2012, June). The Biological Oxidant And Life Detection (BOLD) Mission: A Proposal For A Mission To Mars. NASA Workshop at Lunar and Planetary Institute on “Concepts and Approaches for Mars Exploration”.