The threat to our national security has evolved beyond the traditional theaters of war, and it remains critical that our adversaries continue to have no place to hide. Centauri’s team of dedicated, mission-focused experts keep our nation at the forefront of space-based sensor technology development – and always ahead of our adversaries. Because defending the nation requires accurate and timely information, our research and development initiatives are designing the next generation of defensive technologies to ensure that every threat is detected, analyzed and mitigated.
Our Space Capabilities
Command and Control
Working with our Government leads and industrial partners, Centauri teams define, allocate and trace requirements, guide mission architecture development, oversee the Integration, Verification, Validation and Testing (IVV&T) of complex spacecraft Command & Control systems across a variety of sensor phenomenology. Sub-disciplines include leadership of Integrated Product Teams (IPT) developing Tasking Management, Mission Planning & Scheduling, Command and Telemetry (C&T), Launch and Initialization (L&I) and Spacecraft Survivability & Protection. Centaurians coordinate integration and test activities across multi-discipline teams at the component, sub-System, system and enterprise levels. We are given great responsibility by the US Government customers in serving as designated government witnesses for requirements verification and sell-off and as part of the L&I Team during spacecraft launch, Initialization and anomaly operations.
More lives are lost to severe weather every year than in any combat operations. Supporting national efforts to protect lives and property are a critical capability for a company dedicated to national defense. Defending lives and property is an integral part of environmental intelligence. Centauri employees support every facet of dynamic environmental satellite acquisitions from requirements generation and data analytics to launch management, mission operations and next generation program development.
Geo-Positioning 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.
Ground-based Telescope & Optical Tracking
Centauri subject matter experts provide system level integration for target acquisition, tracking, pointing calibration, and sensor capabilities at multiple locations including the Air Force Maui Optical Site, Vandenberg Air Force Base, and Pacific Missile Range Facility. Centauri personnel designed, developed, and deployed “Raven” telescope automation technology across multiple sites used operationally as contributing sensors to the Space Surveillance Network. The Raven system is fully automated and produces and disseminates astrometric measurements nightly to Space Command.
There is absolutely no substitute for experience in launch. Centauri assists our customers in buying the right rocket for their satellite(s) to maximize their opportunity for mission success.
Machine Learning and A.I.
Advances in computational hardware, algorithms, and an explosion of available training data have enabled machine learning algorithms to achieve human-level competency on a range of important tasks. Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Community (IC) sensors are now providing more data than can be reasonably processed by trained analysts. Hence, it is critically important to leverage modern machine learning techniques to enable rapid, reliable processing of data so that the analyst can be maximally effective.
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.
Modeling Simulation and Analysis
Modeling Simulation and Analysis (MS&A) is a group of engineering processes that involves the study of system components, the development of mathematical and physics-based algorithms that can be coded into numerical software models and/or simulators. Modeling and simulation is used to explore solution trade space and evaluate alternatives to provide detailed insights to analytical questions.
The signals and sensors environments are constantly evolving with the development and proliferation of advanced radars, communications and weapon systems. Centauri leads and guides the development, integration, test and operation of powerful and agile space and ground systems that provide actionable intelligence and worldwide situational awareness to enable customers to meet current and future mission needs. Centauri provides expertise across the defense, intelligence, and commercial collection mission portfolios for our nation’s most important missions. This includes RF engineering and antenna design, state of the art payload technologies and on-board processing, and advanced ground station hardware and signal processing techniques. We then leverage our integration, test, launch and operations expertise to mesh the various sensors into a network of satellite and ground stations providing timely and relevant intelligence.
Positioning, Navigation & Timing
Civilian and Military infrastructures rely heavily on the position, velocity and timing information received from global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). Centauri specializes in providing realistic, relevant & rigorous testing and evaluation of the software and hardware utilized to provide, verify and assure GNSS data. Testing is done with hardware-in-the-loop or in live field environments.
PNT Critical Infrastructure
Centauri supports the analysis and hardening of PNT systems used in critical infrastructures by identifying vulnerabilities in lab and field testing, and simulating real world events in extreme environments. Our mission is to detect, understand and neutralize threats creating superior defenses within PNT and Cyber environments.
Centauri leads and guides the design, procurement, development, manufacturing, test, delivery, and sustainment of low, medium, and high-altitude space and ground systems that enable customers to meet and exceed advanced mission needs. Centauri delivers full satellite lifecycle support, including deep expertise in policy, acquisition, program and financial management, CONOPs, systems architecting and engineering, research and development, sensor design, operational sustainment and anomaly resolution. Centauri supports many customers within the US Government intelligence, defense, and commercial industries.
Space Domain Awareness
Space Domain Awareness (SDA) encompasses surveillance, detection, tracking, identifying and characterizing objects in Earth orbit, ranging from fully functional satellites to space junk and debris.
Centauri’s expertise in high-fidelity physics-based modeling and simulation enables extensive and accurate assessment of proposed and developed SSA systems, evaluating new mission utility and saving the government time and funding.
Doug Postman is the Senior Vice President of Space and Airborne Engineering. Doug has been with Centauri since 2004 having supported the NRO as a systems engineer with Boeing, AT&T, and GRCI for 30 years. While at Centauri, Doug has supported programs in IMINT, AS&T and SED providing acquisition engineering and enterprise architecting. The majority of his career has been focused on special access programs involving smaller teams of engineers and streamlined acquisition approaches. Doug completed a BS in letters and engineering from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan and a BS and MS in Aerospace Engineering from University of Michigan.
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.
James "JP" Passaro
James “JP” Passaro is head of Space & National Defense Programs. JP has over 25 years of experience spanning all phases of the system acquisition lifecycle, with a wealth of expertise in the areas of technical program management, user requirements development (JCIDS), acquisition planning, and weapon system cost estimating. Prior to joining Centauri in 2006, JP held several key positions as an active duty officer in the USAF. His career in the Air Force included acquisition assignments at the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), and Headquarters Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), and included cooperative/joint efforts with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and other agencies. Since joining Centauri in 2006, JP has served as the Director of Defense Space Programs and as a Senior Systems Engineer delivering systems engineering support to a variety of customers in the NRO and the DoD. JP holds a Bachelor of Science from the United States Air Force Academy, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Oklahoma City University, a Master of Science in Cost Analysis from the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), and has completed graduate course work in the areas of space physics, data warehousing, and business analytics.
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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