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"For the first time, networks of radars are possible and we can build electronics that deliver a level of performance that has previously been out of reach."

John Buonocore

Founder & Chief Engineer

"For the first time, networks of radars are possible and we can build electronics that deliver a level of performance that has previously been out of reach."

John designed the critical data collection systems for 14 satellites and 6 radars. His hardware is delivering critical scientific and safety data for the space industry today.

John Buonocore is Chief Engineer and cofounder of LeoLabs. He leads the hardware design team responsible for the development, construction and deployment of LeoLabs’ worldwide network of radars. He and the team are continuously innovating in order to maintain the highest standards of performance and reliability.

Prior to LeoLabs, he worked for SRI International, a not-for-profit research laboratory headquartered in Menlo Park, California. Throughout a 33-year career at SRI, John participated in numerous remote-sensing projects. Most notable are his contributions to HF and UHF radar designs in support of research campaigns in the Equatorial and Polar Regions. John’s research in Ultra-Wideband radar technology and development of ground and airborne sensor platforms have been used in the detection of land mines and IEDs in the battlefield. Included in John’s radar work at SRI was his participation in the design, construction and operation of the AMISR Phased Array Radar. He was a key contributor throughout three separate deployments of this giant 4096 element 2-Dimensional system. Thirteen years later, the system, located in Alaska (PFISR), is still in operation and part of LeoLab’s global radar network.

In the latter part of John’s career at SRI, he developed specialized hardware for spaceborne sensors. This included power systems, antennas, RF receivers, RF transmitters and microcontroller design work. A majority of the space work was focused on payload designs for Cubesat vehicles. One significant contribution was the design of a high dynamic range and fast recovery UHF receiver used onboard the RAX1 and RAX2 satellites. The RAX program was the first NSF-funded Cubesat launch in the history of the US National Science Foundation. The launches were successful, and the final deployment of RAX2 yielded good data and an overall positive experimental outcome. In all, John has been involved in 8 different Cubesat projects, 6 of which have been successfully deployed to orbit and 2 of which never received a launch opportunity.

In addition to Cubesat work, John also made a contribution to the Beacon Transmitter hardware onboard the Formosat7/Cosmic-2 satellites launched in 2019. Six of these satellites were successfully deployed from a Space-X Falcon Heavy rocket, and all are currently in operation. John is co-author on publications related to The Frequency Agile Radar (a multi-use, back-scatter HF instrument), Advanced Modular Incoherent Scatter Radar (AMISR), and RAX Cubesat development. He is principal inventor on two patents related to Cubesats and co-inventor on multiple IP related to LeoLabs tracking and radar technology. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from San Francisco State University.