Shey Sabripour has been building and instilling visionary leadership into space system technologies for over two decades. As the CTO of Firefly, Shey is responsible for the technical and programmatic success of the company’s launch vehicles, human talent growth, strategic partnerships and execution of Firefly’s future technology initiatives. Formerly, as the Director of Spacecraft Design at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Shey led a team of 370 engineers and scientists in design, development, production and launch of over 38 communication satellites and several interplanetary and earth-orbiting spacecraft. During his 24 year career at Lockheed Martin, Shey was the recipient of seven technical and leadership awards including the person-of-the-year in 2005. Shey earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering in 1985 from North Dakota State University. Committed to staying at the forefront of his industry, Shey has pursued continuing education in both electrical engineering and executive business management at institutions such as the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Santa Clara University, University of Maryland and Lockheed Martin Center for Leadership excellence. In 2000, Shey co-authored and published the Spacecraft Power Technologies textbook and is currently completing the Fundamentals of Communications Satellites textbook for Imperial College Press. Shey holds one issued and 3 pending US Patents. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Considering the rapid growth in the number of smallsats/cubesats launched over the past several years, and the fact that more than 140 satellites with masses less than 10kg were launched in 2014, it is clear that this segment of the space industry is attracting a great deal of interest. This panel will address the past successes and shortfalls of design, development, and implementation, as well as looming opportunities, technical challenges, and future implications of launching smallsats.