Scarlett Koller earned a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering at MIT in 2016, then began her career at SpaceX as a certification engineer on Crew Dragon. She later left for NASA JPL to work as a systems testbed engineer on the Perseverance Rover program. Following its successful landing on Mars, she returned to MIT as a Leaders for Global Operations Fellow, earning a Master's in Aerospace Engineering and an MBA from MIT Sloan, as well as the new Aerospace Innovation Certificate. She & Zack formed Mithril Technologies in 2023 to bring innovative reflector technologies out of the lab and into real-world applications.
Professor Zack Cordero earned his Ph.D. in Materials Science at MIT in 2015, after a year spent in materials science at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, during which he developed critical tools for powder-bed metal additive manufacturing techniques, he joined Rice's Materials Science department as assistant professor. In 2020, he returned to MIT to run the Aerospace Materials & Structures Lab. His research has focused on developing the reflector technology that Mithril is now bringing out of the research lab and into orbit.
For decades, NASA has been trying to develop microwave radiometry instruments for geosynchronous orbits, to achieve global coverage of atmospheric sounding for weather predictions. But until now, the very large (30-100m) antenna diameter needed could not be launched, even with deployable models. That is, until Mithril Technologies' bend-forming technology was developed as a new on-orbit manufacturing technique that can be used to develop large, light, electrostatically actuatable structures. With bend-forming, we can build large antennas capable of deforming a microwave RF reflector mesh with sub-micron precision.
With Mithril Technologies, we have the potential to dramatically improve weather sensing capabilities from space, with 24-hour coverage and 1Hz refresh rates showing the internal structure of storms and other weather systems.