New COO To Guide AeroAstro
[Satellite News 07-23-08] Paul Lithgow was appointed COO of AeroAstro, a business unit of Radyne, in June.
Lithgow will oversee current programs and new business development for AeroAstro, which is celebrating 20 years of operations, and has been expanding its business with the U.S. military. Lithgow also will serve as the primary interface between AeroAstro and Radyne, where he previously served as director of advanced concepts.
Lithgow spoke with Satellite News News Editor Jeffrey Hill about adjusting to his new position, the upcoming acquisition of Raydyne by Comtech and AeroAstro’s prospects over the next two years.
Satellite News: How are you adjusting to AeroAstro?
Lithgow: I have been involved mostly on the business development side, so it is not a complete change for me. I am really enjoying it. There is a strong and well-functioning team here, and I am not currently making any major changes. We are just focusing on customer service, process efficiency and teamwork among the staff, which were the three areas I wanted to pay attention to when I entered the position. It is always good to look at every process to make sure we are not doing anything because it has always been done that way and that we are not wasting energy.
Satellite News: How will ComTech’s acquisition of Radyne affect AeroAstro?
Lithgow: You can never be absolutely sure when it comes to mergers. Some of our projects cross over with theirs. We are looking forward to integrating with ComTech and will continue to strive to work as an independent organization.
Satellite News: How is AeroAstro doing with the sensor enabled notification system (SENS) technology?
Lithgow: We are continuing to support GlobalStar in building out the infrastructure of the SENS system. We just recently installed three new ground appliqués in Singapore, Alaska and Brazil. We also worked extremely hard on the user side to develop specific applications for users of that system. We see a bright future for SENS.
Satellite News: What is the status of your space situational awareness work for the Air Force?
Lithgow: The project with the [Air Force Research Laboratory] is going very well. We are focusing on the unique technical aspects involved in the project, which I am unable go into detail on just yet. It is early on in the project and we have done testing on the experimental sensor. The response from the customer has been positive and we look forward to its progress.
Satellite News: Are you confident AeroAstro will continue to acquire Air Force work?
Lithgow: We feel very well positioned for future work on the Air Force’s operational and response of space initiatives. Right now, they are developing what they call “enablers” to be able to do operationally responsive space work in the future. We submitted some solid proposals to their broad area announcements several months back. We feel very good about our chances there.
Satellite News: What’s in store for the next couple of years?
Lithgow: In the space realm, our biggest focus right now is the successfully delivery of the [Space Test Program Standard Interface Vehicle to Ball Aerospace. Their customer is the Space Development and Test Wing. We are in integration and testing on that project now, and it is going well. In addition, in the last couple of months we were awarded a phase 3 [small business innovation research contract] through [the Air Force Research Laboratory] for a new spacecraft concept study. For our communications and sensors group, which SENS is included, we are working very hard to grow the commercial side of that business in a significant way over the next several years.