My first job after graduating from Caltech was at Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems in Azusa, California.
In 2003, the main funding source was a government contract for the Space Based Infrared System, or SBIRS. SBIRS was an upgrade to the US Missile Defense System from an older series of satellites to a responsive network for detection and tracking of ICBMs.
Our focus at Northrop Grumman ES was to develop hardware and software for SBIRS. While I was also involved in some of the hardware development, my efforts were primarily dedicated towards software.
After spending 6 months in training at our prime contractor’s headquarters, I returned to Azusa to spearhead an effort to develop image processing algorithms.
This task took me 6 months, and I used the MATLAB programming environment for software and algorithm development.
The result was a completed prototype that ultimately flew on the actual mission.