Defense, Government and NGO sectors require both remote sensing intelligence to detect and classify objects and also connectivity for secure, mission-critical communications. With advancements in small satellite technology, what kinds of improvements could smallsats bring to existing solutions? What kinds of innovative new solutions might materialize? How do smallsat operators work with government partners?
How can smallsats change government missions (disaggregation, resiliency)? SmallSats can provide an enhancement layer for the capabilities of larger national security spacecraft, and as the existing systems become more vulnerable, technologically aging, and expensive to maintain, the appeal of smallsats will increase considerably. The new DARPA Blackjack program for private companies to pitch to develop a satellite constellation leveraging commercial capabilities to meet military needs is perhaps one of the largest opportunities for all sectors in the smallsat market. What are the best opportunities for small businesses/ smallsat startups to help the government mission? What is the role of legacy integrators in serving the same space?
Working with DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, DISA and others to deliver defence systems and services in a shortened procurement process is an immediate necessity. Given the space boom of new technologies, how do companies structure a successful program from concept to funding to access to space. What technologies are already available that may need modifications for specific military purposes. With a requirement for secure connectivity during mission-critical communications, providing more choice and flexibility through integrated solutions is in demand. Advanced military architecture could focus on scalability and flexibility. Importantly, modularity and interoperability in components and buses by sharing common standards instead of procuring yet another satellite could lead to significant savings. This workshop provides a step by step overview of how to process toward integration of commercial space systems so as to deal successfully with the small satellite demands of the defense forces.
Don Richardson is the founder and President of MIL-SAT Global Communications. Building on 35 years’ experience in the satellite and military communications industry, Mr. Richardson is currently focused on the deployment of LEO satellite antenna and ground network infrastructure around the world. As co-founder of CMT Teleport Services, RedVu Satellite Networks, and KL Fiber Optics, Mr. Richardson serves on the Board of Directors of each company. A US Navy veteran and military communications expert, Mr. Richardson has supported numerous Navy, Coast Guard, MSC, and NATO satellite communication initiatives.Michael Downey
Michael Downey serves as senior director of engineering research for iDirect Government. Michael has more than 30 years of experience in design, development and engineering management of digital signal processing-based systems. He will oversee the integration of Glowlink’s technologies into iDirect Government’s product line. iDirect Government acquired Glowlink in September 2019.
Previously as co-founder and chief technical officer at Glowlink, Michael was instrumental in helping the Glowlink product portfolio grow from individual spectrum monitoring products to sophisticated integrated spectrum monitoring and geolocation systems and networks. More recently, he led the development of Glowlink’s single satellite geolocation capability and Glowlink’s patented Communication Signal Interference Removal (CSIR®) technologies.
He is a recognized expert in signal processing, interference detection, geolocation and interference removal technologies. He has authored numerous technical papers and has dozens of U.S. and international patents in these areas.
Erringer Helbling serves as a Technology Advisor for the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) as an Army Reservist, where she provides insights into different Space Portfolio efforts.
Full time, Errin is a Systems Engineer at Hawkeye 360, a radio frequency-based geoanalytics company. Before landing at Hawkeye in February, Erringer was the Falcon 9 launch vehicle landing legs planner at Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX). She led the engineering, procurement, and production of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle’s landing leg design upgrade to a “ten flight reuse” capability.
Prior to joining DIU and SpaceX, she served in the Active Army as an Engineer Officer. During her last two years in the military, she served at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) in both the Analysis and Technology directorates. Additionally, she was a Military Social Aide to former President Obama and President Trump.
Her first three years in the military involved tactical unit assignments. She led a deployment and redeployment in preparation of a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, or Nuclear attack on the United States. She also led geospatial engineers to create and provide analysis products to Army Forces Command leadership and other decision-makers across Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Erringer earned a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Systems Engineering from the United States Military Academy and a Masters of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.) in Systems Engineering from Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering.Rachel Kolesnikov-Lindsey
Rachel is an Active Duty Air Force Acquisitions Engineer who joined the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) in October 2017. As the Director of Organizational Development, she is responsible for the execution and plans related to human capital, improving the effectiveness of the organization in terms of skills, processes, and culture, as well as the development of the leadership team. Rachel also leads the DIU Small Responsive Launch efforts to utilize emerging commercial rockets to precisely place Department of Defense (DoD) payloads into their mission designed orbits. She also leads the effort to prototype commercial means to modernize aging DoD systems beginning with aging Phased Array Radars.
Prior to DIU, Rachel worked in the Launch Enterprise Systems Directorate at the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, where she was Chief of Propulsion Systems for the Atlas V Rocket, precisely delivering over $5 billion of DoD National Security Space satellites to orbit before serving as executive officer for her 640 person wing. Prior to that, she was selected for the Engineer & Scientist Exchange Program (ESEP) where she finalized designs and built composite aircraft at the Spanish National Laboratories for Aerospace in Madrid Spain. Before her assignment in Spain, Rachel worked in the Materiel Directorate at the Air Force Research Labs (AFRL) completing Biological and Nanomaterials research as well as prototyping how to forcibly take down light aircraft without killing the pilot as part of the AFRL Commander’s Challenge. Rachel received an educational delay immediately upon commissioning in order to complete a master’s degree before entering active duty.
Rachel has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Materials Science & Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.