Michael Nicolls Founder, Chief Technical Officer LeoLabs
AIAA Propulsion and Energy Forum 2020
Michael Nicolls is LeoLabs’ Chief Technical Officer and cofounder. He leads the development of LeoLabs’ next-generation radar systems, tracking technologies, and data analytics platform. Mike is passionate about developing solutions to enable commercial activities in space in a responsible and sustainable fashion, and co-founded LeoLabs to realize that vision. Mike has been involved in the space industry for over 15 years.
Prior to LeoLabs, he worked at SRI International’s Center for Geospace Studies as a Research Scientist and Program Manager leading the development of remote sensing technologies for studies of the Earth’s upper atmosphere and ionosphere. He directed research programs using advanced radars for understanding the space environment, and contributed to innovative scientific missions such as the Radio Aurora Explorer (RAX), one of the first successful scientific cubesats; sounding rockets for space weather research; and satellite technologies for mapping the Earth’s magnetic field using compact linear accelerators.
Mike’s interest in space was forged through the study of the space environment. He has performed research at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, the world’s premier single-dish radio telescope, studied the Aurora Borealis, and participated in research campaigns at observatories around the world. He has co-authored over 100 publications relating to Space Weather and remote sensing. Mike received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University.