Staff

Michael Paluszek, President & Founder – map at psatellite.com

Education

  • EAA Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1979
  • SM Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1979
  • SB Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1976

Professional History

Picture of Mr. Michael Paluszek

As President of PSS, Mr. Paluszek is responsible for company management. He is the PI on the ARPA-E OPEN 2018 program to design a compact fusion reactor suitable for portable applications. He is also PI on the ARPA-E GAMOW program to develop high-efficiency, high reliability, and high power density electronics for the fusion energy business.

He is the co-author of six books for Apress on using MATLAB in engineering. Four of them are on machine learning and artificial intelligence. He teaches MIT course 16.S685/16.S890, “Attitude Control Systems.” He is writing a new book for Elsevier on Attitude Determination and Control.

He developed a new optical navigation sensor for geosynchronous and deep-space spacecraft. He designed Space Rapid Transit, a two-stage to orbit Launch Vehicle project which employs horizontal take-off and landing and uses an aircraft’s first-stage combined-cycle engine. He supported the software development for the safe mode guidance for the Prisma Rendezvous Robots flight experiment.  He designed the Attitude Control System and ACS flight software for the Indostar-1 satellite, which has been flying since 1997 and led the effort to develop the TDRS momentum management system for Hughes. 

Prior to founding PSS in 1992, Mr. Paluszek was an engineer at GE Astro Space in East Windsor NJ. At GE, he designed the GGS Polar despun platform control system and led the design of the GPS IIR attitude control system and the Inmarsat-3 attitude control systems. The GGS Polar despun platform controller included active stabilization of the four deployed wire antennas using the despun platform motor. This was one of the first applications of active vibration control on a satellite at GE. He also managed the ACS analysis unit and was lead attitude analysis on over a dozen satellite launches and shift supervisor, with responsibility for all subsystems, on one launch. This included flying over 100 satellite maneuvers.


Stephanie Thomas, Vice President – sjthomas at psatellite.com

Education

  • SM Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2001
  • SB Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1999

Professional HistoryPicture of Ms. Stephanie Thomas

As Vice President of PSS, Ms. Thomas helps manage the company in addition to performing and managing technical work on our government and consulting contracts. She was selected to be a 2016 NASA NIAC fellow for the study, “Fusion-Enabled Pluto Orbiter and Lander”, collaborating with PPPL, and led our NASA STTR on superconducting magnets for space fusion systems. She is a coauthor of several books on MATLAB programming and machine learning for Apress. She is the deputy chair for AIAA’s Nuclear and Future Flight Propulsion committee and a member of the FIA Space Committee.

Ms. Thomas has been the PI for numerous Air Force and NASA SBIRs ranging from solar sails to proximity satellite operations. As a senior engineer she has led consulting work on precision CubeSat attitude control systems and propellantless solar sail control systems for customer including NASA and ESA. She manages the commercial MATLAB toolbox product lines for PSS and developed the Solar Sail Module for high-fidelity simulation of sailcraft control systems. She has developed collision monitoring tools for the safe guidance mode of the Swedish Space Corporation’s PRISMA mission and TechSat 21.

Prior to joining the technical staff full-time in February of 2001, Ms. Thomas worked at PSS in a series of internships since 1996. She has worked on a variety of software, including: artificial intelligence and decision support tools, an interplanetary orbit propagation toolbox, Java web services, and a multibody simulation of the TDRS spacecraft for momentum management verification. She is experienced in MATLAB, C++, and Java technical programming.

As a Master’s student at MIT, Ms. Thomas worked on the design of a Shuttle flight experiment to study the plumes of a Hall and a pulsed plasma thruster, known as ETEEV (Electric Thruster Environmental Effects Verification). This effort included experimental work in MIT’s new vacuum facility. The design studies included analysis of a number of plasma diagnostics. While a student Ms. Thomas participated in NASA Academy, a summer leadership intensive program, at NASA/GSFC.


Christopher Galea, Research Scientist – cgalea at psatellite.com

Education

  • Ph.D Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, 2021
  • S.B. Aerospace Engineering and Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2016

Professional History

Dr. Chris Galea

As Research Scientist at PSS, Dr. Galea is responsible for research & development on the Princeton Field-Reversed Configuration (PFRC) and power electronics for fusion reactors, which are projects supported by ARPA-E OPEN and ARPA-E GAMOW grants, respectively. On the PFRC-2 experiment, he is currently operating and analyzing the x-ray silicon drift detector diagnostic for electron energy distribution measurements. He is also working on developing a plasma-circuit model for capturing key effects of surrounding plasma on the power electronics being developed under GAMOW.

At Princeton University, Dr. Galea conducted his dissertation work on ‚ÄúCoherent Microwave Scattering from Laser-Generated Plasma in External Magnetic Field and Weakly Ionized Plasma Environments”, the thesis of which he completed in July 2021. In his graduate research, he investigated the implementation of a laser- and microwave-based diagnostic technique, Radar REMPI (Resonance-Enhanced Multi-Photon Ionization), in novel environments relevant to plasma propulsion and remote sensing applications. A primary finding in his thesis was the discovery of magnetically induced depolarization of the microwaves when scattering from a small plasma in a magnetic field, which allows one to perform remote local vector magnetic field measurements.

As an undergraduate student at MIT, Dr. Galea double-majored in Aerospace Engineering and Physics and completed his S.B. in 2016. He conducted research at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center, the MIT Gas Turbine Laboratory, and the Polytechnic University of Madrid in Spain. The corresponding research projects he worked on are: computational modeling and experimental testing of high-temperature superconducting tapes for fusion reactor applications, the design and construction of a surrogate stream-wise pressure gradient apparatus to model conditions in turbofan engines, and the development of a droplet vaporization model for fuel sprays in internal combustion engines. It was also during his time at MIT that he first interned at Princeton Satellite Systems, where he was introduced to the Direct Fusion Drive project that he is working on today.

Sangeeta P. Vinoth, Research Scientist – svinoth at princetonfusionsystems.com

Education

  • Ph.D Physics, Mumbai University, India 2012
  • M.Sc. Physics, Mumbai University, India 2004
  • B.Sc. Physics, Mumbai University, India 2002

Professional History

As Research Scientist at PSS, Dr. Vinoth contributes to the research & development of the Wide Band Gap Semiconductors amplifiers for Plasma Heating and Control supported by the ARPA-E GAMOW grant. She also works on the visible spectroscopic diagnostics of Princeton Field-Reversed Configuration (PFRC). On the PFRC-2 experiment, she is currently operating and analyzing the Ocean FX-Spectrometer diagnostic for Balmer line ratio measurements and the x-ray silicon drift detector diagnostic for electron energy distribution measurements. She is investigating radiation hardening methods for the plasma-facing power electronics being developed under GAMOW.

At Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory she has developed a Collisional Radiative (CR) Model code for hydrogen plasma to extract the electron temperature (Te) from Balmer-line ratio measurements. This CR model could yield time-resolved Te predictions in the range 1-500 eV for hydrogen plasmas with electron density up to 1015/cc and specified densities of molecular and atomic hydrogen neutrals. The impurities lines seen in the visible range are also studied.

Dr. Vinoth has conducted her Ph.D research on “Study of fluid flow and heat transfer on Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) Reactor: Computation and Experiments”. She performed a comparative study of ICP between laminar and turbulent flow model to investigate how temperature and flow fields change when using different operating conditions such as (a) swirl and no swirl velocity for sheath gas flow rate, (b) variation in sheath gas flow rate, and (c) variation in plasma gas flow rate. The temperature profile obtained experimentally, using spectrograph and optics, were compared with the temperature profile patterns obtained using simulated computational fluid dynamics (CFD).