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Danette Allen

Danette Allen

Senior Leader and Systems Capability Leader, NASA LaRC

Dr. Danette Allen has been building complex automated and autonomous robotic aerospace systems at NASA her entire career. Prior to assuming her current role of Senior Leader and Systems Capability Leader (SCL) for Autonomous Systems (AS), she served as the Senior Technologist (ST) for Intelligent Flight Systems and as the AS-SCLT Deputy Lead. Dr. Allen began her career at NASA writing embedded real-time flight software for the Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment (LITE) instrument, the primary payload on STS-64 and supported the mission from the Payload Operations Control Center at JSC. LITE was followed by multiple atmospheric science instruments including “MAPS on Mir” for which she spent considerable time in Russia to deliver the MAPS instrument to the Russian Space Agency for launch on a Soyuz spacecraft. She is co-founder of LaRC’s Integrated Design Center (IDC) and, more recently, she created and led the Autonomy Incubator at NASA LaRC which was transformed into RD’s Autonomous Integrated Systems Research Branch (D332).

Dr. Allen earned her B.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University, MBA from Manchester University (UK), M.E. in Computer Engineering from Old Dominion University, and M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from UNC Chapel Hill. She is the recipient of multiple NASA awards including the astronauts’ “Silver Snoopy” award for achievements related to human flight safety and mission success, the "Systems Engineering Excellence Award" medal, the “Outstanding Leadership” medal and the “Exceptional Service Medal” medal. Dr. Allen is an ACM member and an AIAA Associate Fellow as well as a member of the AIAA Intelligent Systems and Human Machine Teaming Technical Committees.


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