Mr. Gibson is currently President of Empirical Systems Aerospace and is responsible for business development, overall program management, and various technical tasks. He has nine years of experience in the construction and management of design, technology demonstrator and prototype programs. Since co-founding ESAero in 2003, his work experience includes design, systems integration, and testing on a diverse number of programs. He has been involved with ESTOL/CESTOL or other improved field performance aircraft for 12 years, mainly with NASA Ames Research Center.
This work culminated with two SBIR awards, one of which he was the Principal Investigator, 2009, for which he led and managed a multidiscipline team to design two aircrafts powered by cryogenically-cooled superconducting turboelectric distributed propulsion systems. The second SBIR, for which he was Co-Investigator, focused specifically on the design of the internal split-wing propulsion components. Both Phase I SBIRs were successful, on time, on budget, and the COTR and NASA felt they received a great value. This work was so successful, ESAero was approached by NASA for additional work in this area, which led ESAero to become a leader in TurboElectric Distributed Propulsion (TeDP) Aircraft. Additionally, he reverse engineered the entire 747-200F fuselage (from 1969 hand drawings) to calculate stiffness and obtain mass properties data in support of Evergreen Aviation.
Leveraged off of the NASA SBIR efforts, Mr. Gibson has been leading electric hybrid aircraft integration and design work for General Atomics, electric hybrid helicopter design and analysis work for Electricore, Inc., and payload performance and integration on the Global Observer for Aerovironment. He is also currently working with Lockheed ADP on designing and building a sub-scale demonstrator for a novel VTOL UAS system, which will fly vertically in 2012. He received his Bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo. Mr. Gibson is a Subject Matter Expert on Turboelectric Distributed Propulsion (TeDP) and participates in the NASA TeDP Workshops administered by Mr. Hyun Dae Kim, and he will be a panel member during a TeDP session at AIAA JPC 2012.
Mr. Schiltgen, a performance and propulsion engineer, is one of the founding partners of Empirical Systems Aerospace, Inc. He earned a B.Sc. degree in Aerospace Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. During his time since founding Empirical Systems Aerospace, Mr. Schiltgen has worked on structural and performance analysis for FAA flight test certification programs, such as the Evergreen Supertanker and the Quiet Technology Gulfstream II/III. Using FORTRAN, Mr. Schiltgen developed takeoff prediction codes which provided FAA approved performance charts. He also provided flight test analysis for the SuperCaravan program. He has experience in creating customized software to perform propulsion and performance analysis/studies for various aircraft configurations, which provide powerful methods that aid in preliminary design. Identified as DoeTECH, Mr. Schiltgen has invested many years developing the Visual Basic-based, fully customizable simulation tool.
As a principal partner of ESAero, he has experience performing detailed sizing and mission performance tasks, including customized software, on a variety of flight vehicles. Design engineering and hardware fabrication has been accomplished for customers ranging from Boeing, Lockheed Martin and NASA to private entrepreneurs with leading-edge aerospace concepts. Mr. Schiltgen was the Principle Investigator on a 2009 SBIR titled "The Design and Integration of a Distributed Fan Propulsion System within a Split-Wing", which was executed successfully, on-time and on-budget. Currently, Mr. Schiltgen is the technical lead on a hybridization powerplant tool for helicopters which is entering its fourth year, as well as, developing hybrid propulsion systems and analysis methodology for various aircraft types. Mr. Schiltgen is a Subject Matter Expert on Turboelectric Distributed Propulsion (TeDP) and participates in the NASA TeDP Workshops administered by Mr. Hyun Dae Kim.
Trevor Foster is a founding partner and current Vice President of Operations for Empirical Systems Aerospace, Inc. His primary roles include head of Information Technology, Personnel, and Facilities. Trevor's responsibilities within the company have him wearing many hats ranging from detailed design and fabrication to project management to the expansion and growth of new facilities.
Pulled from High School to lecture at the local college on the construction and certification of high power rocketry and PBAN/HTPB based fuels, Mr. Foster engaged quickly with the 'learn-by-doing' philosophy. There he managed a NASA Langley funded project for 4 years to build and fly Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLVs) in conjunction with the private sector. Shortly thereafter, Empirical Systems Aerospace was formed.
Since co-founding Empirical Systems Aerospace in 2003, Mr. Foster been actively involved within in Aeronautical/Aerospace community. He was a pioneer in the development of the NASA CoLab 2nd Life experiment serving to find ways to engage new and young engineers. He served on the Board of Directors for the California Space Authority from 2007 to 2010. He helped to support and organize the NASA Regolith Centennial Challenges for each of the three years the competition was held. Mr. Foster continues to provide assistance to local students in the form of graduate committees and mentorships.
As an engineer Mr. Foster has successfully achieved the goals of his customers by furthering the development of their concepts. He developed a shrouded counter-rotating wind turbine that took advantage of high velocity air to improve efficiency. For the NASA Centennial Challenges he designed and fabricated a solar powered demonstration robotic 'digger'. He took a struggling back-packable Aerostat design and through design and testing achieved a viable product capable of providing persistent visual or radio coverage to areas of lost coverage. He designed, fabricated, and conducted a testing program for a Rocket-Based Combined Cycle in efforts to better understand its operation in a zero-Mach flight condition. He additionally has provided technical business development support for UAV payload selection and performance. Including the development of a cloud-based interactive database.
Mr. Foster has also had experience organizing and managing projects in his time at Empirical Systems Aerospace. He was the project manager for a team working in conjunction with Lockheed Martin ADP on a sub-scale VTOL flight demonstrator program. He has been manager for a program building small UAS and support equipment for Lockheed Martin MFC. Including maintaining a near JIT inventory system. Currently Mr. Foster is the principle investigator on the NASA 'LeapTech' Wing being conducted under Empirical System's Phase III SBIR - Design and Fabrication of a Hybrid Electric Integrated System Testbed (HEIST). Also in work is the design and fabrication of a test-stand for multiple 5-15kw electric motors for the purposes of investigating failures modes for feedback into a prognostics and health management tool. From these programs, Mr. Foster, has generated an extensive knowledge in the area of instrumentation and electric motor/power systems.
Mr. Foster is a member of AIAA, AFA, and Tripoli. He additionally holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering, from the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo.
In support of the leadership team and their customers, ESAero maintains an administrative assistant, full-time junior engineer, part-time junior engineer, and various engineering interns from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and a through network of Industry Associates.