Small Satellite Community of Interest


Jul 13 2022

The Small-Sat Community of Interest is established as a virtual forum of small-satellite owners, operators, and service providers. Commercial and government experts collaborate to identify, analyze, and develop mitigation strategies for the small-satellite community.


Small Satellite Community Call

8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. (Mountain) // 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Eastern)

Virtual Event (MS Teams)

THEME: Advancing Fundamental Operating Capabilities and Securing Small Satellite Infrastructure


MODERATOR: Dr. Jose Romero-Mariona

BIO: Dr. Jose Romero-Mariona recently joined Raytheon Technologies as an Associate Director of Engineering, focusing on Cyber technologies, and supporting the Raytheon Cyber Operations Development and Evaluation (CODE) Center. Prior to this new position, he served as the lead scientist for Cybersecurity research and development efforts at the Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific, a US Navy laboratory in San Diego, CA. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine in 2010 and holds over 40 publications and various patents. His research revolves around the concepts of cybersecurity, non-traditional systems (like critical infrastructures), and human factors. Dr. Romero-Mariona also serves as a Navy Reserves Officer (Liutenant/O-3) in the Engineering Duty Officer Community. He regularly mentors other scientists and engineers as well as STEM students.




SPEAKER: Mr. Luke Berndt, Microsoft.

BIO: Luke Berndt is a Principal Program Manager in Microsoft’s ASCII – Space and Spectrum Team, where he manages the government strategy for the software radio. Luke recently joined Microsoft from In-Q-Tel, where he helped provide the intelligence community work startups on innovative approaches.

DISCUSSION: Luke Berndt will discuss cloud enabled workflows for managing software radio and processing. Cloud technologies, like Kubernetes based orchestration, can be extended to virtualized processing, bringing additional agility and efficiency to systems. The ability to dynamically scale out resources in the cloud also allows for new design patterns to emerge. Combined with hybrid architectures, these concepts make it possible to rethink how systems could be designed.


TOPIC 2: Hardware Virtualization


SPEAKER: Mr. Greg Quiggle, VP of Product Management, Kratos Space.

BIO: Mr. Greg Quiggle serves as the Vice President, Product Management at Kratos, where he oversees product strategy and ongoing lifecycle management of Kratos’ commercial product portfolio. He has spent more than 25 years conceptualizing and executing successful product and technology strategies for companies in the communications industry. Prior to joining Kratos, Greg was Vice President, Emerging Products at VT iDirect and before that was Vice President, Product Management. He is a graduate of Purdue University, with a BSEE degree in Control Systems and received an MBA from the University of Maryland.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Greg Quiggle will discuss hardware virtualization, the method used to create virtual versions of physical hardware and operating systems. Virtual products provide the unique capability of signal processing without hardware acceleration like FPGAs and GPUs. Virtualization is making an impact in satellite ground systems as a method to reduce costs, increase efficiency in operations, and to avoid downtime.


TOPIC 3: Digital IF Interoperability Consortium (DIFI)


SPEAKER: Mr. Chris Badgett, VP of Technology, Kratos Space.

BIO: Chris Badgett is vice president of technology for Kratos Space. Prior to Kratos, Mr. Badgett served in the Air Force as a weapons engineer in the Air Force Research Lab. Chris has also worked in the Space Development and Test Wing as a program manager for a satellite system developed by Ball Aerospace. Mr. Badgett holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from University of Tennessee and an MS in Space Systems from the Air Force Institute of Technology.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Badgett will discuss the Digital IF Interoperability Consortium (DIFI), an independent non-profit group with the mission to develop interoperability standards for the space industry. Standards for Digital IF/RF signals will ensure they are transmitted and received in a common format enabling compatibility between all vendors systems. Framework standards exist today for digital IF, but they do not assure interoperability between vendor systems.


TOPIC 4: Cyber Resilience for Satellites and the STARCS Mission


SPEAKERS: Dr. Eric Vugrin and Dr. Mark Pepple, Sandia National Laboratories

 BIO: Eric Vugrin is a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in the Cyber Resilience Research and Development Department at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His research spans nearly two decades and focuses on the development of analytical tools and methods for modeling, analyzing, and designing resilience in complex systems. Cyber and space systems are his current primary applications of interest, and he has previously worked on supply chains, public health systems, power systems, transportation networks, and other critical infrastructures. His work has provided support and guidance to research, operations, and policy groups at the US Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, Energy, and other agencies. Dr. Vugrin co-authored the book Critical Infrastructure System Security and Resiliency; more than 50 book chapters, journal articles, and conference papers; and more than 80 technical reports. He earned his PhD in mathematics from Virginia Tech.

BIO: Mark Pepple holds B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois and the University of Florida, respectively. Mark joined Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM. Mark spent 5 years contributing to and leading various countering-WMD projects, with a focus on chemical-related threats, followed by 2 years supporting Sandia’s nuclear deterrence mission. Mark became the manager of Sandia’s Space Control Capabilities department, and transitioned back to Albuquerque, NM, in the April 2020. In his current role mark manages Sandia’s STARCS (Science & Technology Advancing Resilience for Contested Space) IR&D effort, as well as a department supporting various Space Domain Awareness and Space Control programs.

DISCUSSION: Sandia National Laboratories launched the STARCS (Science and Technology Advancing Resilience for Contested Space) mission campaign in 2019 to develop the science, technology and architectures needed to create resilient, autonomous satellite protection systems. This seven-year research initiative focuses on three critical areas: threat defended hardware, cognitive analytics, and sensor protection. This talk will provide an overview of the research that aims to make satellites more resilient to cyber threats.


TOPIC 5: Adversary-Resilient Adaptive C3 in Hostile Network Environments (ARACHNE)


SPEAKER: Mr. Eric McCorkle, Senior Computer Scientist, JHU Applied Physics Lab


DISCUSSION: Mr. McCorkle’s talk will be about how resilient distributed coordination, communication, and computation can be achieved by rethinking the design of the network stack of constellations of space systems.