Optical inter-satellite links – moving from a niche market to mega-constellation mass deployment
Cliff is an accomplished executive with expertise in managing equity-backed companies, particularly within aerospace, cyber-security, defense intelligence, and cloud infrastructure. Having 25 plus years of progressive experience providing leadership and strategic direction to high growth technology companies, their board of directors and senior management.
Today Cliff serves as CEO, President of Cloud Constellation Corporation, a Los Angeles CA based company, having a presence in Washington, D.C. that is developing the first global satellite data security platform for governments and financial institutions.
In 2008, Mr. Beek cofounded Star Asia Technologies PTE, Ltd, with offices in Singapore and the Philippines. SAT competes across aerospace, data management, and mobile broadband industry segments. His accomplishments include: financing of multi-million dollar space based infrastructure assets.
Additional career highlights: Cliff led the Asian Development Bank’s formation of the South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation Information Highway (SASEC
Project) a fiber optic communications network. Participating countries included Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan. Cliff successfully negotiated the funding and bilateral agreements on behalf of ADB.
Cliff earned an MBA from Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a BA from the George Washington University.David Bettinger
David Bettinger is a business and technology visionary with 30 years of experience in system engineering, focused on innovative satellite communications. He is a strategic thinker with a track record of capturing opportunities, cultivating partnerships, and transforming startup ventures into a competitive position.
Before joining SpaceLink, Mr. Bettinger was VP of the Communications Systems and Advanced Development Group at OneWeb. He was a founding member of the satellite network operator, which was established in 2014, and he led a team of satellite, aerospace and communications engineers to design its first- and second-generation satellite payloads, user terminals, and ground segment.
At OneWeb he was successful in supporting investment activities and was responsible for the corporate technology roadmap. His expertise includes communication systems architectures, RF and digitally regenerative satellite payloads, optical inter-satellite links, electronically steered phased array antennas, and network architectures.
Previous to his role at OneWeb, Mr. Bettinger spent more than a decade as CTO and Senior VP of Engineering at ST Engineering iDirect, a $250 million satellite communications technology company which provided VSAT solutions to over 400 customers in 120 countries.
In this role he was responsible for the oversight of all technology decisions and led the technology team to make iDirect the largest TDMA enterprise VSAT manufacturer in the world. He drove the strategic direction for product development, research, technology alliances, and mergers and acquisitions.
Mr. Bettinger began his career at Hughes Network Systems where he was a member of the Technical Staff in the Satellite Networks Division. There he contributed to the development of several generations of the Personal Earth Station (PES) satellite network, which was Hughes’ flagship product line at the time. He was also a member of the design team that developed and deployed the Claircom air-to-ground telephony system for commercial and private aircraft.
A graduate of Virginia Tech, Mr. Bettinger earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1989 and a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1992. A frequent spokesperson at industry events, he has authored more than 50 technical papers and articles and holds seven patents in satellite communications.Don Brown
Don Brown is the General Manager and Senior Management Official of Telesat U.S. Services, LLC. In this role, he is responsible for global government business for the state-of-the-art Telesat LEO constellation currently in development. Each spacecraft in the Telesat LEO fleet will include four (4) Optical Inter-Satellite Links (OISLs): one of the first commercial networks to deploy OISLs at scale.
Mr. Brown has spent 25 years developing commercial space opportunities for national security and civil government missions. At Telesat, his team is responsible for Telesat’s contract with DARPA on the ground-breaking “Blackjack” satellite program, and for Telesat’s contracts on the Air Force Research Labs “DEUCSI” (Defense Experimentation Using Commercial Satellite Internet”), U.S. Space Force “CASINO” (Commercially Augmented Space Inter Networked Operations) development programs, and NASA NextSTEP-2 Study Program, among others.
Prior to Telesat, Mr. Brown was Vice President of Hosted Payloads for Intelsat General Corporation, where he was responsible for government communications, navigation, sensor and scientific systems aboard Intelsat spacecraft. Successes of Mr. Brown and his team included the Cisco “IP Router in Space” (“IRIS”) payload on Intelsat IS- 14, launched in November 2009, and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) UHF payload, launched on Intelsat IS-22 in 2012. The ADF Hosted Payload was named by “Via Satellite” magazine as one of the “30 Events that Shaped the Last 30 Years in Satellite.”
Prior to the merger of Intelsat and PanAmSat in 2006, Mr. Brown was Vice President of DoD Systems at PanAmSat’s G2 Satellite Solutions, a major provider of commercial satellite capacity for UAVs. Mr. Brown has held senior positions with Quincy Jones’ QRadio, American Mobile Satellite Corp., and in the Satellite Systems Division of Federal Express Corporation. He was also the co-founder of USA TODAY Sky Radio, the first provider of live broadcast satellite services to the airlines.
Mr. Brown currently serves on the Space Enterprise Advisory Group (SPEAG) to U.S. Space Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Brown has also served on the Satellite Task Force of the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee to the President of the United States and as Co-Chair of the Government Services Working Group of the Satellite Industry Association. He is a graduate of Princeton University and is a frequent speaker on commercial satellite operations and national security.
Melanie Preisser is Vice President of National Systems for York Space Systems in Washington, D.C. Her responsibilities focus on building relationships and positive interactions with agencies and key officials in the US Government and among industry partners.
Melanie brings over 25 years of diverse corporate and government experience in strategy and business development, acquisitions, systems engineering, satellite operations, and test and evaluation of space-based and airborne systems. Melanie began her career as an acquisitions officer and project engineer for the U.S. Air Force and retired from the Air Force in 2014.
Prior to joining York, Melanie was Vice President of Government Relations for Stratolaunch Systems Corporation. She previously served with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. She was responsible for acquisition oversight and coordination of major strategic, space and intelligence programs.
Melanie holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and master’s degrees in Systems Engineering and Business Administration.