Lockheed Martin has chosen a Missile defense engineer to lead the company’s Advanced Technology Center in Alto Palo, California. Advanced Technology Center is the company’s space research organization. The position as head of the organization became vacant after the former head, Scott Fouse, recently resigned.
The new head, Nelson Pedreiro, is not new to the company. He was the director of science and technology and the chief engineer for strategic and missile defense systems at Lockheed Martin Space Systems.
The Advanced Technology Center (ATC) is an organization that invests in technology that aids the company’s commercial, military, and civil space portfolio. ATC is one of the major corporate labs of Lockheed Martin.
A part of Nelson Pedriero’s roles as the new head of the organization includes overseeing over six hundred scientists and technicians across the country. The ATC was founded in 1956 and it was part of the research team that is credited with the development of submarine-launched missiles which is now known as the Fleet Ballistic Missile program.
ATC in the field of solar and planetary science developed an instrument for Geostationary Carbon Cycle Observatory (GeoCARB) mission. This instrument was developed for NASA and it would be used to track carbon cycles. The mission will be launched in the year 2022.
The organization has also been credited with the development of the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS), which has captured over five million images of solar eruptions.
In an interview with space news, Nelson Pedriero revealed some plans the organization intends to work on. He revealed that the organization will do more in the field of autonomy and artificial intelligence.
“Autonomy is an emerging area that will have applications across our lines of business, but especially in our deep space programs. Autonomy and AI make long space journeys safer. We will be talking a lot about that at the Space Symposium. Space and strategic missiles have a high degree of autonomy by nature, but we are adding higher levels of artificial intelligence and machine learning to remove humans in the loop. We think we can help free analysts from Big Data processing tasks so they can focus on decision making,” Padriero said.
He also mentioned that ATC is investing in new sensors to address detection, discrimination, classification, and targeting. He also made mention of a project; Segmented Planar Imaging Detector for Electro-Optical Reconnaissance (Spider), which he believes will improve remote sensing.