The management team at KinetX Aerospace brings a unique perspective, extensive engineering experience, and proven
project management skills to every business challenge we face.
The SNAFD Strategic Advisory Council (SAC) Group is made up of retired JPL engineers and navigators working
as independent contractors for KinetX Aerospace. SAC members provide advice and support for navigation technical
developments and operations at SNAFD.
Mr. Stakkestad received both his bachelor and master degrees in mathematics from the University of
California at Davis, and then accepted a position as a staff orbit analyst at Lockheed Missiles and
Space Company (LMSC). He produced orbit-planning products for an array of operational satellite
programs run by the Air Force, NASA, and SDI.
In 1992, Mr. Stakkestad and a small team of engineers developed a prototype satellite ground system
using off-the-shelf hardware and software products to demonstrate that a robust satellite ground system
could be rapidly, cheaply, and reliably developed. This prototype was used as the example for the
future development of the AFSCN satellite ground systems. His work on the prototype included
implementation of the orbital dynamics portion of the ground system including development of the
operational rule base.
In 1993, Mr. Stakkestad left LMSC to help found KinetX Aerospace and serve as its first President and Chief
Financial Officer. As the orbit dynamics lead for the development of the IRIDIUM satellite ground
control system, he developed the initial orbital dynamics requirements for the ground system. He
led the orbit trade study that chose the company to implement the requirements, worked as the liaison
between the development and operational staffs, and was part of the initial operations team that
assembled the IRIDIUM constellation. Mr. Stakkestad also led a variety of KinetX Aerospace software,
hardware, and system engineering projects for the IRIDIUM project.
After leaving the IRIDIUM project, he worked on new business development for KinetX Aerospace and assisted
Spectrum Astro in the design of the satellite constellation and ground system architecture for the SBIRS
Low project. He has written a number of papers on effective satellite operations and autonomy for
large satellite constellations, a subject with which he is still actively involved.
Susan Dater is Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of KinetX Aerospace, Inc. As CFO, Ms. Dater is
responsible for all domestic and international finance, accounting, budgetary, contract and human
resource activities for the company. She also oversees all ITAR and regulatory affairs. She
joined KinetX Aerospace in 1996 as an accountant. After graduating Cum Lade with a Bachelor of
Science degree in Accountancy from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and
passing the CPA exam, she assumed the position of Controller at KinetX Aerospace. Over the past
few years, as more growth and changes occurred inside of KinetX Aerospace, Ms. Dater transitioned the
accounting system from an off-the-shelf basic accounting system into a custom, fully integrated
government contractor cost accounting system with an on-line timekeeping system.
Interfacing and working with both DCAA auditors and external auditors is part of the continuous efforts
to maintain reliable processes and financial information. Anticipating the changing needs of the
company, she secured lines of credit with banks to assist growth and manage cash flow. Always
looking for ways to be efficient and save money, Ms. Dater worked with the BDO tax division to attain
research and development tax credits to apply toward past and future tax liabilities.
Her attention to detail, dedication to continuing corporate governance and high ethical standards make
her a valuable asset to the management team.
Mr. Goen received his BSEE from the University of Texas at Austin, and accepted a position at
Motorolas Government Electronics Group in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1978. He initially worked
at the device level in the companys Integrated Circuits Facility (ICF), and then led various teams
in the development of Electronic Security Measures (ESM) systems over the next few years.
In 1988, Mr. Goen was assigned a Design Assurance role, where he managed the divisions centralized
pool of mechanical engineers, material specialists, reliability specialists, and component engineers.
In 1990, he was asked to lead a division-level test initiative, and proceeded to standardize and
formalize the test approach for space and other high reliability programs. By its nature, this
task required significant Systems Engineering focus, leading to the advancement of Systems Engineering
capability at the division.
In 1992, Mr. Goen joined the IRIDIUM team and led the On-Board Processor (OBP) development efforts on
the payload. This seven-computer processing suite encompassed all aspects of subsystem
development, from systems engineering and architecture to design to parts/materials selection and
management, to integration/test/verification. This effort resulted in many defining attributes of
the IRIDIUM payload, such as the inter-computer communications architecture, the hardware routing
algorithm and implementation, and the processor bus and suite of associated custom ASICs. These
ASICs defined the payload behavior for everything from bus control to routing of payload communication
In 1999, Mr. Goen and a small group of individuals founded a development lab within Motorola in
Chandler, Arizona focused on the design of cellular infrastructure equipment. This team executed
RF, digital, FPGA, and DSP development efforts for 8 years in support of CDMA, WCDMA, and other air
interface technologies. The team also developed a new WiMAX Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) that
facilitated Motorolas entry into the burgeoning WiMAX market.
In May of 2007, Mr. Goen joined KinetX Aerospace. Several former Motorolans also joined the KinetX Aerospace hardware
team to augment the considerable existing Software and Systems Engineering capabilities. The
primary foci of this team are Wireless Communications and Embedded Computing for product space
encompassing Aerospace, Government, and Commercial markets.
Bobby Gene Williams, Ph.D.
Dr. Williams holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas and a
Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California. He is a member of Sigma
Gamma Tau, the national honor society for aerospace engineering.
As an employee of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, he participated in
and eventually headed the orbit determination teams at JPL for the Viking missions to Mars, the Pioneer
Venus Orbiter mission, and the Earth oceanographic mission TOPEX/Poseidon. He participated in
gravity field determination for both Mars and Venus by analyzing orbiter tracking data and was a member
of the Phobos Experiment Team which first determined the mass of the Martian moon, Phobos, from
spacecraft tracking data. Dr. Williams was co-investigator for Venus gravity field determination
on NASAs Pioneer Venus Data Analysis and Guest Investigator Program. He was appointed lead
of ground based low thrust navigation development for NASAs Deep Space 1. He has
supported navigation trade studies and design for many Discovery proposals and was the navigation lead
for all three successful Discovery proposals from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics
Laboratory. He was navigation team chief throughout development and flight operations of
NASAs Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission which was the first mission to orbit and land
on an asteroid.
Dr. Williams has received several prestigious honors and awards including: the NASA Outstanding
Leadership Medal for leading the NEAR navigation team; the 2001 Aerospace Laureate for Space from
Aviation Week & Space Technology for his work as the NEAR mission navigation team
leader; the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Trophy as a member of the NEAR mission team; his
nomination to the American Astronautical Society Space Flight Mechanics Committee; and his nomination to
the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics National Technical Committee on
Astrodynamics for which he subsequently served as secretary. In honor of his efforts for NEAR,
asteroid 1990 OK1 was renamed (5642) Bobbywilliams by the International Astronomical Union.
Dr. Williams is author or co-author on over seventy technical papers, including twenty-four refereed
articles and over thirty-six conference papers. He holds current memberships in the American
Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, the Americal Geophysical Union, and the American
He founded and is now the Director of Space Navigation and Flight Dynamics for KinetX Aerospace, the first
privately held company to supply critical navigation support for NASA deep space missions; the first two
being the New Horizons mission to Pluto and Charon and the MESSENGER mission to Mercury.
Mr. Cigich received a bachelor of science in electrical engineering technology (BSEET) from the DeVry
Institute of Technology, Columbus Ohio in 1984. He subsequently received an MBA from the
University of Phoenix in 1993.
Upon graduating with his bachelor degree, Mr. Cigich accepted a position at the Rockwell International
facility in Anaheim, California to support the design and development of Intercontinental Ballistic
Missile (ICBM) guidance systems. After supporting multiple efforts in the ICBM design and
development field, Mr. Cigich pursued opportunities in space based and terrestrial communication
programs. He has worked on satellite and terrestrial communication systems since 1993, primarily
in the area of ground systems network management infrastructure design and development.
Mr. Cigich was President/CEO of a consulting company (CMCS LLC) started in 1996 to provide network
management engineering consulting services to telecommunication companies developing both terrestrial
and space based communication systems. He grew the company to over 20 contractors supporting
multiple telecommunication programs in 4 years. Mr. Cigich engineered and managed the design and
development of a fault management system for the IRIDIUM communication system. In addition, he has
provided engineering and management for systems engineering and development efforts of both commercial
(e.g., AT&T wireless) and DoD (e.g., MUOS) terrestrial and satellite communications systems.
Mr. Cigich joined KinetX Aerospace in July 2007 to utilize his vast systems knowledge and broad skill range
cultivated over many years of supporting multiple customers and projects to help guide KinetX Aerospace on a
sustainable growth path across the systems engineering, HW/SW development, and operations
disciplines. He currently supports many facets of operations and business development. Mr.
Cigich was instrumental in steering KinetX Aerospace into the UAV business with the successful contract win of
providing a data recorder for the BAMS UAV. Mr. Cigich defined the target markets and roadmap for
KinetX Aerospace to obtain quality (CMMI, ISO, AS) standards to enable the company to broaden from just a services
organization to deliverable/product based.
Jack Sears Jr.
Jack Sears, Jr. is an Aerospace and Defense executive with over 25 years experience in military, federal service,
and industry leadership, management, and execution roles. Mr. Sears currently serves as Deloitte Services’
Strategic Client Relationship Executive for Strategic Federal and Aerospace and Defense clients in California,
Arizona, and Nevada.
Before joining Deloitte in 2011, Mr. Sears was the Sector Vice President and General Manager for the Information
Technology and Communications Sector of Epsilon Systems Solutions, Inc, where his organization was responsible for
delivering professional services, engineering, and technical solutions to Department of Defense (DoD) customers.
From 1998 to 2002, Mr. Sears held the position of Program Manager for the Common High-Bandwidth Data Link-Surface Terminal
(CHBDL-ST) and Common Data Link (CDL) programs while a member of the Federal Service at the Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR)
Systems Center in San Diego. Mr. Sears was a Project Manager and Subject Matter Expert in the Link 16 Program
at SPAWAR Systems Center San Diego from 1994 to 1998, and a member of the U.S. Navy from 1988 to 1994.
Mr. Sears is a recognized expert in the fields of federal contracting, Foreign Military Sales, and Advanced Tactical
Data Link Systems, and holds a BS in Business Management from San Diego Christian College and an MBA in Finance from
the University of Redlands.
Durrell retired in 1999 as Senior Vice President and Group General Manager of Motorola’s Defense and Space businesses
responsible for research, design, development and production of advanced communications and electronic systems for
domestic and international commercial users, NASA, and DOD.
Prior to a career in defense and space, Durrell held positions in engineering, marketing and product management
in Motorola’s semiconductor business. Durrell created and led the Motorola Satellite Communications organization
which successfully developed and produced the Iridium System—the world’s first and only satellite based global
communications network, starting with 20 people and growing to 2,000 Motorola employees and 6,000 contract personnel
for the $5 Billion program.
After his retirement from Motorola, From 2001-2006, Durrell was Board Chairman of the Insyte Corporation in
St. Petersburg, Fl., a specialized electronics company which provided advanced technology to DOD and the Intelligence
Community. He led the small company from $1m to $27M in sales, resulting in its acquisition by ITT Corporation in 2006.
In 1997 Durrell was elected to the U.S. Space Foundation’s Space Technology Hall of Fame and in 1998 was elected to the
Arizona State University’s College of Business Hall of Fame. Durrell received a BSEE from the University of Arizona,
an MSEE and an MBA from Arizona State University and completed the Motorola Executive Institute. He was awarded two patents
in semiconductor memory design and one in cellular communications. He was a Senior member of the Institute of
Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aerospace and Astronautics
(AIAA), a member of the Executive Council for the International Engineering Consortium (IEC), and a member of the
Advisory Board of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).
Community activities have included membership in the Greater Phoenix Leadership organization, the Valley of the Sun
United Way Campaign Cabinet, the Board of Governors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Scottsdale, the Executive Committee of
the ASU Engineering Deans’ Advisory Council, and the University of Arizona Engineering Advisory Council. He also served
as a member of the Board of Samaritan Health Services and as Chairman of the Phoenix Urban League and the Scottsdale
Robert E. Maskell
Robert E. (Bob) Maskell is the founder and CEO of Plan B Space Systems Consulting LLC and NorthStar Satellite
Services, Inc. Plan B Space Systems Consulting LLC works with public and private sector leaders to evolve space
systems through the innovative use of commercial products. NorthStar Satellite Services, Inc. is the U.S. sales
and marketing partner of NorStar Space Data, Inc. for products and services produced by the NorthStar system. The
company is also the lead for developing the NorthStar space segment.
Bob’s 30 years of space systems experience includes 20 years of active duty as a Commissioned Officer in the
U.S. Navy with 10 years of sea duty in various operational assignments including command of USS CONOLLY (DD 979) during
Operation Desert Storm and 8 years of staff assignments ashore focused on MILSATCOM systems, with key roles in the MILSTAR,
FLTSATCOM EHF, and UHF Follow-On programs.
After retiring from the Navy in 1993, he started a consulting business that was retained by the Navy to manage
the Interim Polar EHF SATCOM Project. At the successful conclusion of that contract, he accepted the position
of Program Manager, MILSATCOM at Spectrum Astro in Gilbert, Arizona. In that capacity, he managed the Mobile User
Objective System (MUOS) concept development and the Transformational Communications System (TCS) concept development programs.
He moved to Cisco Systems, Inc. in 2003 where he authored the Internet Routing In Space (IRIS) concept. He retired
from Cisco in 2009 and started Plan B Space Systems Consulting LLC. In 2011, he founded NorthStar Satellite Services,
Inc. to provide program management, business development and marketing services as a partner in the NorthStar project.
Bob earned a Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering from the US Naval Academy and a Master of Science in Electrical
Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.
Gene Milchak began his NASA career in 1972 as a ground station operator contractor to NASA with RCA Service Company
on the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory (OAO) at Goddard Space Flight Center, MD.
He was then employed in 1977 by Grumman Aerospace as a Mission Controller on the OAO and SMM missions.
Gene then relocated to White Sands, NM with General Dynamics in 1981 when he joined General Dynamics Contel
(formerly Spacecom, Inc.) serving in a variety of positions including manager of Mission Planning and director of Ground Systems.
Gene left Contel in 1989 and joined Omitron, Inc. of Greenbelt MD as vice president of Operations and was made a part owner.
Gene sold his share of Omitron in 1997 and joined SGT, Inc. as director of Mission Operations.
In 1998, he rejoined GTE Government Systems as senior manager, Program/Proposal, until 2000, when he joined the
former General Dynamics Network Systems (GDNS) as director, Space Programs.
In March of 2004, Gene joined GDC4 Systems when GDNS’ Space Programs was transferred into C4 Systems. He served as
director, Space Programs, and senior director of SGS&O. Gene was named a C4 Systems vice president in May 2012. Under
his direction, the business grew significantly and included the following primary locations: Las Cruces, NM; NASA Goddard
Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD; Wahiawa, HI, and the Naval Satellite Operations Center, Pt. Mugu, CA. Gene was
instrumental in winning NASA’s Space Network Ground Segment Sustainment (SGSS) program. GD has several future opportunities
with NASA, Navy, Air Force and other agencies which are viable because of the SGSS foothold, which was made possible through
Gene’s personal reputation and visibility within this tight customer and industry community.
In his more than 41 years in the aerospace industry, Gene has received multiple NASA Group Achievement Awards,
which are presented for outstanding group accomplishments that contribute substantially to NASA's mission. He
also was one of the first 30 NASA contractor personnel to be selected for the NASA Manned Flight Awareness Award.
An Air Force veteran who served as a communications officer at the VIP Aeronautical Station at Andrews Air Force Base,
Gene received his Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering and his Master of Science in Systems Management,
both from the University of Maryland.
Christopher G. Bryan began his career in 1982 with Lockheed Corporation supporting the Air Force Satellite Control
Network (AFSCN) Space Test Program. While at Lockheed, he held lead positions as a Planner/Analyst, Mission
Controller, and Orbit Analyst, including Lead Orbit Analyst for the Strategic Defense Initiative's successful
Relay Mirror Experiment (RME).
In 1993 he left Lockheed to help found KinetX. Since then, he has worked on many key projects for KinetX
including Iridium, the SBIRS Low missile defense simulation, and MUOS, earning several individual and group achievement awards.
Chris currently works in KinetX's Space Navigation and Flight Dynamics group, and is the Navigation Team Chief for
the MESSENGER spacecraft which is currently in orbit around the planet Mercury. While at KinetX, Chris has held
many senior management positions including Contracts Manager, Export Control Officer, CFO, Chairman, and President. Chris
has served as a Director of KinetX for over 20 years and is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors.
Chris has a B.S. in Physics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and an M.S. in Computational Physics
with emphasis in Astrodynamics from San Jose State University.