Listed below are the bios of the technical team that we have assembled for the upcoming Slingatron Kickstarter project. We have been carefully working out the details for the technical goals of this project and hope to be launching it next week. I am sending you this information so that you understand that we are serious about succeeding at this endevour.
F. Douglas Witherspoon, Ph.D.
Dr. Witherspoon is President and Chief Scientist of HyperV Technologies Corp. Prior to founding HyperV in January 2004, he was the co-founder, President and Chief Scientist of UTRON, Inc. since 1994, where he was responsible for conceiving, developing and directing the company's research which emphasized the application of plasma and pulsed power technologies for defense, industrial and commercial areas. Dr. Witherspoon is the inventor of several pulsed plasma based materials processing applications currently still being developed at UTRON. He is an experimental plasma physicist with over 25 years of research experience in the field of plasma physics. His experience includes capillary discharge physics, plasma jets, plasma thrusters, high enthalpy flow electrothermal wind tunnels, electromagnetic and electrothermal mass launchers, pulsed high current & high voltage engineering, plasma magnetic confinement (tokamaks), pulsed high power RF systems, and computational modeling. He has extensive experience with pulsed plasma accelerator technology. Dr. Witherspoon received his Ph.D. in Physics in 1984 from the University of Wisconsin (Madison).
Dr. Witherspoon was a Senior Research Scientist at GT-Devices, Inc., Alexandria, VA, from 1984-1994. Dr. Witherspoon performed computational modeling of the Electrothermal Light Gas Gun (ELGG) and the Combustion Light Gas Gun (CLGG) projects, which continued at UTRON. This involved writing numerous 1-D numerical codes for modeling the interior ballistics the ELGG and CLGG launchers. From 1990-1991 he was the Project Manager for the Pulsed Electrothermal (PET) Thruster project, with responsibility for all aspects of the design and testing of a radiation-cooled liquid-fed pulsed electrothermal rocket thruster. From 1989-1991 he was the Project Manager for the Electrothermal Wind Tunnel program, with responsibility for the design and testing of a prototype cryogenic liquid-fed electrothermal wind tunnel in support of NASA's Hypersonic Propulsion Program. From 1985 to 1989, Dr. Witherspoon served first as the Project Manager and then as Principal Investigator for the GEDI electromagnetic railgun program. His responsibilities included the design of an entire EM launcher facility and the research to achieve high velocity projectiles for space and defense applications.
Derek A. Tidman, Ph.D.
Derek A. Tidman is the inventor of the Slingatron mechanical hypervelocity mass accelerator technology. Dr. Tidman obtained a PhD in Physics from the University of London, March, 1956, and a D.I.C., Diploma of Imperial College of Science and Technology, May, 1956, London, UK. He first came to the U.S. as an Assistant Professor at the Fermi Institute for Nuclear Studies, University of Chicago, in 1957. From 1960 to 1980 he was a Research Professor in the Institute for Physical Science and Technology at the University of Maryland, where in addition to his teaching, his publications included 2 co-authored books: "Plasma Kinetic theory" and "Shock Waves in Collisionless Plasmas", and a co-edited book on "Plasma Instabilities in Astrophysics". He was an Associate Editor of the Journal of Mathematical Physics, 1972-74, and the Physics of Fluids, 1970-72. During the 60’s and 70’s he consulted for the Goddard Space Flight Center on Space Plasmas, and also worked on DOE-funded studies of inertial thermonuclear fusion.
In 1980 he left academia to establish the GT-Devices Inc. mass acceleration laboratory where he was President from 1980-1994 and worked on electrothermal and electromagnetic railgun launchers. His 16 patents include a hole-boring technique to reduce projectile atmospheric drag, and as a co-inventor, the original use of capillary discharges for electrothermal (ET and ETC) guns, and pulsed electrothermal thrusters. GT-Devices was acquired and became a subsidiary of General Dynamics in 1989.
Dr. Tidman has published over 130 papers in scientific journals with the most recent being a new mechanical approach to mass acceleration called the Slingatron. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Member of the AIAA.
Mr. Mark Kregel
Mark is an extremely talented mechanical engineer with over 20 years experience in mechanical engineering, material design, component fabrication and testing in support of many advanced technology programs. He has been a consultant to the Slingatron development effort since 2002. His work on the Slingatron under the direction of Dr. Derek Tidman has included the design, fabrication and testing of the Mark I & Mark II one meter Slingatron machines. Mark will be the senior mechanical engineer for our Slingatron Kickstarter project.
Andrew Case, Ph.D.
Dr. Case is a Senior Scientist with HyperV Technologies Corp. While at HyperV Dr. Case has designed and constructed interferometers, spectroscopy systems, vacuum systems, optical systems, probes, fast valves, and more. Prior to joining HyperV in September 2005 he worked as a postdoctoral researcher from January 2002 on the Maryland Centrifugal Experiment (MCX) at the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics, University of Maryland College Park. His work on MCX included designing, fabricating, installing magnetic diagnostics equipment and performing analysis of data from magnetic fluctuation probes and diamagnetic loops. Additional work performed by Dr. Case on MCX included insulator design, design of data collection systems, interlock systems, writing data analysis codes, analysis of data, design and construction of electronics and safety compliance.
Prior to joining the MCX team, Dr. Case worked for Pixelligent LLC, a high tech startup developing a novel semiconductor lithography technology, where he designed optical systems, both imaging and non-imaging, and wrote patents covering algorithms and devices related to programmable mask lithography.
Dr. Case received his PhD in plasma physics from the University of Maryland in 2001. During the course of his graduate research Dr. Case designed and built a novel microwave resonant cavity Barium plasma source, implemented langmuir probe diagnostics, designed and built an antenna for launching ion acoustic waves, designed and constructed magnets for plasma confinement and designed and built collection optical systems for laser induced florescence. He received his BA in Physics in 1992 from Reed College, writing a senior thesis on experimental study of droplet coalescence in the presence of vibration.
Samuel Brockington, Ph.D.
Dr. Brockington is a Senior Scientist with HyperV Technologies Corp, with over eleven years experience in analog and digital electronics design and software engineering for experimental physics. His present research interests include pulsed power design, plasma diagnostics, and plasma thruster development. He completed his PhD. with the University of California at Davis in 2007 working as a Student Employee Graduate Research Fellow at Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) developing the laser deflectometer, a line-integrated plasma density gradient diagnostic, for the Compact Toroid Injection Experiment (CTIX). After joining HyperV in 2007, he coordinated the accelerator design, pulsed power design, control design, construction, development, and deployment of HyperV's 50 kilojoules linear plasma railguns and high power switches. Dr Brockington also acted as HyperV's project liaison to the Plasma Linear Experiment (PLX) based at Los Alamos Nation Lab (LANL), assisting with the project pulsed power and control design. Dr Brockington has also recently co-managed the design, pulsed power design, control design, construction and development of HyperV's E3P-1 repetitive plasma thruster prototype supported via Kickstarter. He also wrote and maintains the HyperV “ShotBroswer” data viewer application. Presently, he is serving as Principle Investigator for the development of HyperV's new Fast, Fiber-Coupled, Imaging Diagnostic, a 10 MHz framing camera for resolving fast, bright events.
Mr. Christopher J. Faranetta
Mr. Faranetta is Vice President of New Business Development for HyperV Technologies Corp. He has nearly 25 years experience as an aerospace and alternative energy entrepreneur and program manager.
In 1988, Mr. Faranetta began his career in aerospace by helping forge early joint U.S./Soviet-Russian space efforts while serving as International Liaison to the Space Studies Institute (SSI) in Princeton N.J. Following his work at SSI Mr. Faranetta founded and co-managed what became the Americas office of Rocket Space Corporation Energia (RSC Energia) from 1991-1998 to support the development of new U.S./Russian government and commercial space ventures.
Mr. Faranetta has also served as Vice President of Orbital Spaceflight for Space Adventures LTD 1999-2008 where under the leadership of Eric Anderson he co-developed the orbital program for Space Adventures and sold private manned missions to the International Space Station. In addition, while at Space Adventures he headed the development of a program in partnership with the Russian Federation of a first-ever commercial manned circumlunar mission using the flight-proven Soyuz TMA manned spacecraft.
Mr. Faranetta has also previously consulted for Dr. Tidman on the Slingatron mass launcher as well as other advanced aerospace technologies to identify applications and near term markets.