CAMBRIDGE, MA—Draper has appointed Michael Fieldson as the company’s new Special Operations Forces Associate Director.
At Draper, Fieldson will serve as a member of the company’s business and engineering leadership to identify Special Operations Forces’ needs, conceive technical solutions, lead proposal development efforts and capture opportunities with the SOF community. He will also be responsible for the execution of these programs, with the goal of providing U.S. Special Operations Forces with a technical advantage.
Fieldson has 13 years of SOF leadership experience at the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM), having held program management positions in several Program Executive Offices (PEO), including PEO Fixed Wing, PEO SOF Warrior and the Science & Technology Directorate. His most recent position was as the Director of Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (AISR) in PEO Fixed Wing.
Fieldson received his Master’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of South Florida and served as program manager at the Special Operations Command. While at SOCOM, Fieldson was involved in the development of extended-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles and an armored suit for warfighters called the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS). Prior to joining SOCOM he worked at Battelle Memorial Institute as a principal research scientist.
Darryl Sargent, Draper’s Vice President of National Security & Space Systems, describes Fieldson as bringing “extensive experience in working with the Special Operations Forces community and suppliers of defense technology and equipment. His vision, energy and expertise will lead to new opportunities for Draper as he works closely with our engineering staff in serving our customers.”
Fieldson will serve in Draper’s St. Petersburg, Fla., office. Charles Arant, who currently serves as acting SOF lead, has been appointed Fieldson’s deputy and will continue to manage the day to day operations of Draper’s Rapid Prototyping Center in St. Petersburg.
Draper combines mission planning, PN&T, situational awareness, and novel GN&C designs to develop and deploy autonomous platforms for ground, air, sea and undersea needs. These systems range in complexity from human-in-the-loop to systems that operate without any human intervention. The design of these systems generally involves decomposing the mission needs into sets of scenarios that result in trade studies that lead to an optimized solution with key performance requirements. Draper continues to advance the field of autonomy through research in the areas of mission planning, sensing and perception, mobility, learning, real-time performance evaluation and human trust in autonomous systems.
Over the past 10 years, Draper has extracted miniature systems and real-time embedded systems design knowledge to develop cyber capabilities to assess software vulnerabilities and capabilities to secure electronics systems. Additionally, Draper has demonstrated secure networks featuring over-the-air keying to realize cryptographically encoded, high-bandwidth communications for UAVs and other applications. These complementary capabilities and technologies provide robust security solutions to guard critical embedded systems against cyber, reverse engineering, and other attacks and ensure that critical information can be protected and delivered in a timely and accurate manner.
Draper combines specific domain expertise and knowledge of how to apply the latest analytics techniques to extract meaningful information from raw data to better understand complex, dynamic processes. Our system design approach encompasses effective organization and processing of large data sets, automated analysis using algorithms and exploitation of results. To facilitate user interaction with these processed data sets, Draper applies advanced techniques to automate understanding and correlation of patterns in the data. Draper’s expertise encompasses machine learning (including deep learning), information fusion from diverse and heterogeneous data sources, optimized coupling of data acquisition and analysis and novel methods for analysis of imagery and video data.