Hannah Rae Kerner

PhD student at the School of Earth and Space Exploration at ASU (advisor: Dr. Jim Bell)

Contact Information



I am researching machine learning applications for planetary science.

My primary interest is in training models to recognize “novelty” or geologically interesting features in planetary data (images, spectra, etc.). The idea is to create artificially intelligent programs that can act like members of a science mission team to prioritize observations for review by human scientists to assist with tactical and strategic planning (e.g. deciding where to drive the rover and what surface features to investigate further), thus increasing the scientific return of exploration missions.

I also work on various machine learning tools that improve workflows for scientists and missions as well as doing the occasional neutron modeling.

I work on the following missions:


Kerner, H. R., Bell III, J. F., Ben Amor, H. (2017). Detecting and characterizing compression-related artifacts in Mars Science Laboratory Mastcam images. 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.*
Kerner, H., Hardgrove, C., Bell, J., Lazbin, I., Amzler, R., Babuscia, A., Burnham, Z., Christian, J., Colaprete, A., Deran, A., Drake, D., Dunham, D., Genova, A., Godber, A., Johnson, E., Lightholder, J., Nelson, D., Robinson, M., Starr, R., West, S., Williams (2016). The Lunar Polar Hydrogen Mapper (LunaH-Map) CubeSat Mission. 30th Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites.
Kerner, H., Kuntz, A., Ichnowski, J., North, K. (2015). Robotics and Autonomous Driving.
* submitted


Our path to Mars needs to look beyond the launch , Houston Chronicle 2016
Space Technology Can Help Sustain Earth , Scientific American 2016
The Space Destination Debate is Getting Us Nowhere... Literally, Space.com 2015
What's The Point? The Real Reason Scientists Study Space, Space.com 2015
It's Not Them It's You: Why Top Tech Talent Isn't Going to the Satellite Industry, Via Satellite 2015
The Next Generation of Next-Generation Activities, Space News 2015
The B-Word, Planet Pulse 2015

Currently Reading

Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder, Nassim Nicholas