Missile Defense & Directed Energy

Our experts play a critical technical role in the development and demonstration of advanced technologies that will provide warfighter capabilities on the battlefield of tomorrow.

Our Mission

Our experts deliver advanced technologies and solutions that help our government defend against hypersonic and ballistic missile threats, as well as unmanned aerial systems and rocket, artillery and mortar fire. We’re helping to develop missile, laser weapon, sensor, and autonomous technologies to address global defense challenges. Our advanced science, engineering, and research and development focuses on developing next-generation technologies and solutions in missile defense and directed energy. ​

Our Missile Defense & Directed Energy Capabilities

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Advanced Materials

Centauri is conducting material development and analysis activities for advanced composite structures. These efforts are focused on development of advanced airframes, structures, and components for high-speed, long duration flight. This includes manufacturing techniques for high-temperature resins, carbon fibers, and advanced ceramics for integrated airframe & thermal protection. Centauri capabilities for advanced materials development include the streamlined fabrication, testing, and analysis of in-house prototype designs.

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Computational Fluid Dynamics

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is used to solve engineering problems from low-speed flows involving the coldest fluids on earth, to hypersonic aerodynamic problems where the temperatures involved far exceed the temperature on the surface of the sun. Centauri's team of CFD experts work closely with our customers to understand their needs from a system perspective in order to provide the best CFD solutions possible at the speed of relevance.

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directed energy

Directed Energy

Centauri possesses a unique, industry-leading collection of Directed Energy subject matter experts with extensive backgrounds in directed energy, electro-optics, software engineering, artificial intelligence/machine learning, predictive avoidance, systems engineering and integration. Centauri’s Directed Energy Team has been built and honed during the past five years as we have led the US Army’s effort to develop its first fieldable High Energy Laser (HEL) weapon system. The effort will ultimately result in the fielding of the Directed Energy-Maneuver Short Range Air Defense (DE-MSHORAD) system designed to defeat Unmanned Aerial Systems; Rocket, Artillery, and Mortars; and rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft.

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Electronic Warfare

Centauri has the capability and experience required to provide the systems engineering needed to integrate electronic warfare systems into full-scale and subscale target drones. With experienced RF, hardware, software and systems engineers, Centauri is prepared to meet the customers’ needs.

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Geopositioning and Targeting

Geo-positioning, a foundational operation in remote sensing and geospatial intelligence (GEOINT), determines the location of objects with respect to a given reference frame based on the information gathered by the sensor(s) from a location remote to the observed objects. Knowing that something exists in the scene is important, but knowing precisely where it is located gives context and makes the data actionable. The process of geo-positioning provides the “where” aspect of intelligence gathering.

For many critical operations, such as precision targeting and other GEOINT analysis, identifying an object and determining its coordinates may not be enough. Decision-makers must know the accuracy of the coordinate and have confidence that it is correct. Therefore, geo-positioning also provides the uncertainty of the determined location, allowing critical decisions and determinations to be made with respect to the position. While needed in the life-threatening scenarios of targeting, having both position and uncertainty is also critical for analysts or algorithms to make informed decisions on what is being observed and extracted from the data.

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Missile Warning and Defense

Centauri develops solutions to address the emerging threat of intercontinental hypersonic and ballistic missiles, including nuclear threats in contested environments. We support 24x7 capabilities and operations to sustain warfighter operations, minimizing disruption of ongoing development and activities to face rapidly advancing threats. We support total system performance for Research and Development Systems Engineering and Integration as a leading technology developer. As threats evolve, we are ready to deliver advanced missile defense solutions for you.

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Rapid Prototyping

Centauri performs rapid prototyping in our state-of-the-art in-house facilities. Our Engineering Prototype Center (EPC) is configured to support our rigorous design, build, inspect and verify product development philosophy. The EPC consists of a host of composite processing, additive manufacturing, mobile workstations, material storage, inspection and test equipment and instrumentation, housed within a 2,100 square foot laboratory. Prior to fabrication of prototypes, rigorous design and analyses are performed by our engineers and designers to understand the suitability of the prototypes for desired end-use and testing. Industry-standard and Centauri-developed analysis tools are used throughout the prototyping process. Design, suitability, end-use considerations and safety are always at the forefront of our prototyping processes to ensure repeatability, configuration management, and processing.

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Space Launch System

Centauri provides engineering and program office support to the SLS Program at HSV, MSFC, Stennis Space Center, and Michoud Assembly Facility. Our efforts encompass Computational Fluid Dynamics, Mechanical CAD design, Stress Analyses, Thermal modeling/assessment, Electrical Design support, and Manufacturing/Production SMEs. As well, we provide support to the Program Office In areas of Program Integration, Supplier Management, and Contracting Officer Interface.

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Systems Engineering and Integration

Systems Engineering and Integration (SE&I) is a disciplined approach for aggregating multiple subsystems into a complete whole that delivers the capabilities, products, and services the customer requires to complete their mission. It is a multi-phase process involving requirements definition, implementation, integration, test, verification, and operations. Satisfaction of stakeholder functional, physical and operational performance requirements is paramount, but cost and schedule constraints must also be strictly observed. SE&I includes both engineering and technical management activities, and brings together component subsystems into one system, ensuring they function together as intended, in the environment in which they were intended to operate.

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Unmanned Systems

Centauri has a wide spectrum of capabilities relevant to unmanned systems, including operations, design and development, training, requirements development, testing, sustainment, and policy development. We utilize these capabilities in support of Government customers as well as for our own independent research and development efforts. Our team includes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified UAS pilots, aerospace engineers, computational fluid dynamics scientists, UAS Instructors, operations Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and Senior System Engineers. Our expertise carries over to towed or tethered UAS as well. Although we have broad capabilities, our primary focus is on two areas, developing and operating UAS as targets to support military training and testing and providing high level analysis, guidance and recommendations for policy and procedures with respect to military UAS operations and training.

Mission Leaders

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Wes Freiwald

Wes Freiwald

SVP, Space Superiority & Missile Defense

Wes Freiwald is the Senior Vice President of Space Superiority and Missile Defense. Wes has more than 25 years of direct experience in all aspects of research, development, integration, test, and production of complex software computing and electric-optical systems. He has received numerous professional awards to include the Air Force Research Laboratories Directed Energy Directorate Individual Contractor of the Year for complex and transitional accomplishments of critical technologies to the warfighter. Wes is a recognized senior engineer, program manager and entrepreneur with a well-established community reputation for excellence. Prior to joining forces with Centauri in November of 2013, Wes was a founder and President of Pacific Defense Solutions, LLC, a successful small business located in Kihei, Hawaii, specializing in space surveillance and scientific technical services. Wes holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Science with an emphasis on telecommunications and engineering technology from the University of Denver. Wes’s undergraduate degree is in Computer Engineering from the University of New Mexico.

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Scott Schnorrenberg

Scott Schnorrenberg

VP, Missile Defense

Scott Schnorrenberg is the VP of Missile Defense Programs, leading a distributed team of nearly 300 professionals at over 8 different operating locations that provide critical services and solutions to the Department of Defense (DoD), Missile Defense Agency, and NASA. Before assuming his role at Centauri, Scott was a Senior VP at Kord Technologies, building a $70M portfolio of Directed Energy, Missile Defense, Cybersecurity, and software development projects. Scott has 20+ years of experience leading DoD-focused organizations in the achievement of business, technical, and growth goals and has held technical and leadership positions in several other high-growth companies. He is a proven technical director of large-scale technology development and integration programs and has led Joint Interoperability experimentation campaigns, Program of Record software and network contracts, Biometrics projects, Modeling & Simulation development programs, and full-scale DoD training programs (simulation, new equipment training, embedded user). Prior to his career in Industry, Scott was an active duty Army officer for 6 years, culminating in a combat deployment to Iraq in 2003-2004.

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Brian Young

Brian Young

VP, Space Control

Brian Young is the VP of Space Control Programs, leading a geographically disperse team of 70+ highly skilled, multi-disciplined engineers and software developers providing innovative research, development, and operational execution against the entire USAF Space Control portfolio. Prior to his work at Centauri, Brian retired as an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel where he served in numerous positions inside Air Force Space Command including: Deputy Director of Space Control Requirements, Director of Operations for the 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron, and Operations Officer for the Rapid Reaction Squadron. He has a broad range of experience in building and executing enterprise-level strategic planning; leading teams performing in highly sensitive, classified, and time critical programs; teaming with international partners, and business development. As a USAF Test Pilot School graduate with over 200 flight hours on 25+ aircraft/helicopters, and space operator, both in flying satellites and running ground segments, Brian understands the critical importance of multi-domain integration and operations for our nation’s defense.

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