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Iridium Satellite Appoints Leader For NEXT Development

by Staff Writers
Bethesda MD (SPX) Dec 07, 2007
Iridium Satellite announces that Lee Demitry has joined the company as the executive vice president for Iridium NEXT, the company's next-generation satellite constellation program. In this newly created position, Demitry will lead the creation, development and implementation of the new Iridium NEXT system. He will also direct engineering efforts in relation to the current Iridium satellite constellation.

Demitry will be responsible for overall NEXT program management, and work closely with the company's corporate development team to identify, evaluate and implement market requirements for NEXT.

"As we embark upon the most important project Iridium Satellite LLC has ever undertaken, it is essential that we have the best industry talent spearheading the effort," said Matt Desch, chairman and CEO, Iridium Satellite. "As a critical life-line and vital public utility, Iridium's next- generation constellation must be technically flawless and commercially successful. Lee has a great track record and I have every confidence that his expertise will prove invaluable as we move forward."

The Iridium NEXT initiative is an intensive, multi-year design and development program. NEXT will provide the company's growing commercial and government customer base continued access to the Iridium network, as well as an enhanced array of services, from high-bandwidth data to voice and short messaging services, to new applications beyond communications. With an IP- based architecture, NEXT will leverage broad-based technology enhancements, enable customers to integrate applications efficiently, and ensure upgrading flexibility.

Iridium is engineering NEXT to support communications with other space-based assets while maintaining the company's unique and vital cross- linked architecture. Tasked with supporting a smooth transition to NEXT from the current constellation, Demitry will work to ensure on-schedule deployment, and a successful transition of services and operations to the new system.

During his 32-year career in aerospace and satellite technology, Demitry spent 20 years in the U.S. Air Force and twelve years working for the private sector. With credentials in systems engineering, program management, systems procurement and contracts, he successfully led some of the most complex and advanced satellite programs within the U.S. Government.

In his role as the former vice president of engineering for GeoEye, the world's largest commercial satellite imagery company, Demitry led the development, deployment and maintenance of high-resolution commercial imaging satellites, production systems, mission planning systems, new products and worldwide ground terminals. Prior to his tenure at GeoEye, Demitry served as the director of special programs at Orbital Sciences Corporation.

There, he organized and initiated the classified special programs business area and, as primary contractor, directed major system architecture study programs. Demitry also held positions of responsibility for various government agencies and programs for the development of highly sophisticated satellite system launch vehicles and other revolutionary technologies.

Demitry holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the

U. S. Air Force Academy, a Master of Business Administration from Golden Gate University, and a Master of Science in astronautical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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