The management team at KinetX Aerospace brings a unique perspective, extensive engineering experience, and proven
project management skills to every business challenge we face.
Board of Directors
SNAFD Strategic Advisory Council
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.
|Jim McDanell ||Sam Dallas ||Bill Kirhofer |
|Pete Antreasian ||Jordan Ellis ||Bill Purdy |
|Peter Breckheimer ||Don Gray ||Bill Sjogren |
|Carl Christensen ||Gerald Hintz ||Pam Wolken |
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.
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.
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.