top of page
Marco Tantardini

BSc in Aerospace Engineering from Politecnico di Milano, MSc in Space Engineering from the Delft University of Technology. Worked for The Planetary Society, Caltech, NASA and ESA. In 2010 he started the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) study at Caltech, defining the strategy and building the founding team: in 2013 the White House and NASA HQ made ARM a key element of the new NASA strategy for Human Space Exploration after the International Space Station. He is an Italian Space Agency (ASI) Associate, acting as the ASI contact point with the NASA HQ for the Italian participation in the NASA's ARM Program. He is a Former Aspen Junior Fellow at Aspen Institute Italia.

Dr Dennis A. Shomko
Business Development, Co-Founder

MBA from Kent Business School, DBA & MsABR from Swiss Business School; Advanced Corporate Finance Executive Program from London Business School; completed CPL/IR programme at Cranfield Aviation Training. Participated in a number of cross-border, intergovernmental projects; led reorganisation of Boeing/Sea-Launch program. Designed & delivered frameworks for several high-profile international transactions in aerospace, nuclear power, distributed energy & infrastructure industries.

Richard Petras
Head of DroNav Software

Rich has 33 years of experience in aerospace software engineering.  He has developed code for the Space Shuttle, and Space Station programs at Johnson Space Centre.  He has written autonomous navigation software at JPL for the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. At SpaceX he developed the communications software that allows the Dragon capsule to communicate with the International Space Station on final approach.

John W. Palmeri
Lead Software & Automation

During 20 years working in software, John has mixed DevOps with development to help startups to large enterprises scale out their infrastructure to support large transaction volumes while also building core processes and key development assets. In the past he helped rewrite the core serving technology at, which serves 500 million pages per month, and developed the ACH payment mechanism at Ticketmaster. At SpaceX, John built out and automated the infrastructure to support multiple launch sites and vehicles while also working on the support processes to move telemetry and commands through the ground network.

Hanlin Niu
Conflict Resolution

Hanlin is a Software Engineer, specialising in Autonomous and Artificial Intelligence Systems. He has worked on guidance, navigation and control of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Unmanned Surface Vehicles for more than 4 years, and gained extended experience in embedded systems, robotics and systems integration. His PhD is in collision avoidance and energy efficient path planning algorithm of Unmanned Surface Vehicles. Hanlin has published several technical papers about collision avoidance algorithm, path following algorithm and path planning algorithm, and participated in a number of relevant research projects, including those funded by Innovative UK, National Oceanography Centre (NOC), Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the Defence, Science, Technology Laboratories (DSTL). At present Hanlin is leading the lab work on developing long endurance USV with multiple energy sources (Solar Energy, Wind Energy and Diesel Energy). Among his work is overseeing the development of both hardware and software of controlling swarm of multi-rotors independently. Hanlin also developed collision avoidance algorithm and precise path following algorithm for ASV, Ltd, which is the most famous Unmanned Surface Vehicles relevant company in UK.

Brian Metcalfe
DronSystems Canada

A senior professional, with years of experience in Defence & Aerospace marketing and international business and project development. Mr. Metcalfe was a director of government relations & corporate affairs for Phillips NV and director of business development for MEL Defence Systems (a Phillips subsidiary) and Canadian Government Senior Marketing Advisor and Analyst for Major Crown Procurement and Development Projects and Advisor to the Canada - US Defence Production/Development Sharing Arrangements and NATO Research & Development Projects Committees. Metcalfe & Associates Business Consultants was established in 1990 as a marketing / government relations and international project development firm working with and representing many of the world's leading aerospace and defence firms. Over the years, Metcalfe & Associates has also assisted many advance technology companies through their product development marketing and commercialisation phases leading to successful establishment of many companies. Mr. Metcalfe was Chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada Marketing Committee, and is a long-time member of the Canadian Association of Defence & Securities Industries. Mr. Metcalfe is also an Advisory Board Member of Women In Defence & Security Association. 

Randall Petras
Senior Systems Engineer

Holds a BS & MS from Drexel University in Electrical engineering. Former radar systems field engineer for Northrop Grumman.  Former senior network engineer for Lockheed Martin. Senior systems engineer responsible for developing monitoring and reporting systems for a major multinational television network. 

Sergey Kolesnikov
Project Management

Participated in high-profile international projects including Sea Launch Program (Customer Support Director) & International Nuclear Safety Program - acted as a CEO of a major participant. Sphere of competence - project startup and management, affiliated companies networking, organisation of interacting between customers and state executive authorities.

Roger Clarke
DronSystems Australia

Australia-based senior professional, with years of experience in Defence & Aerospace Management, government/regulators liaison, International Business Relations. 

bottom of page