Our People

Russell Sibell

In 1983, after receiving his Bachelors degrees in Physics and Chemistry from North Dakota State University, Russ reported to active duty with the Air force where he was assigned to the Airborne Laser Laboratory (ALL) Project. The ALL was the forerunner of the current Airborne Laser (ABL) project. As a member of the Optical Alignment Group (ARLO) he was responsible for refurbishing damaged high power laser mirrors. Russ also directed the alignment team in preparation for laser field tests. Field testing of the ALL at Edwards Air Force Base culminated in the successful shooting down of a series of missiles and test drones. For these accomplishments Lt. Sibell was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. After completing his tour of duty in 1986 and leaving the Air Force with the rank of captain, Russ accepted a position as a Laser Service Engineer with Spectra Physics. While with Spectra Physics he became proficient at repairing and installing Injection-seeded Q-switched Nd:YAG systems, Pulsed Dye Lasers, Raman Shifters, and Wavelength Extenders at research facilities across the western United States. In 1990 Russ began working at Mission Research Corporation (MRC). While with MRC, Russ constructed an advanced laser radar range at Wright Patterson AFB. Construction of the range involved working with cryogenic and vacuum systems, computer data gathering, mode-locked laser systems, advanced high speed detectors, and infrared optical components. Russ left MRC in 1998 to become a Research Engineer at Coherent Technologies Inc (CTI). While working at CTI Russ has contributed to the success of numerous programs including the PROWLER transceiver. The PROWLER transceiver is a chemical/biological agent detection LIDAR. Russ designed the optical array in this instrument and pioneered the mount design used to securely hold the system’s optical components.  In early 2011 Russ left CTI and founded Sibelloptics. Sibelloptics successfully completed its first research programs for NASA of that same year.

Allen Tracy

Allen received his Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering from Brigham Young University in 1990 and spent three years as a software engineer developing helicopter simulators for the Navy and Marines. He returned to school and received his Masters in Laser Optics from the University of Utah in 1997. From 1997 to 2002 Allen worked in the telecommunication field developing VCSEL-based high-speed transceivers for Amp, Inc and Cielo Communications, Inc, a Colorado-based start-up company. At Cielo Communications, he was the Lead Development Engineer responsible for the development of a 2.5 Gbps, 12 Channel, 1310 nm ROSA (Receiver Optical Sub-Assembly), an integral component in a high bandwidth telecommunications system. He led a multi-disciplined design team of 13 engineers in advancing the technology from concept to manufacturing transfer.  Allen left Cielo Communications in 2002 to become a Senior Development Engineer at Coherent Technologies. His first assignment was as Program Manager and Technical Lead for the Gemini North Guidestar Laser System, the first commercially delivered sodium Guidestar system in the world and the only system to be mounted, in its entirety, on the telescope itself. He managed a multi-disciplined team of 15 engineers in all aspects of the project including technical oversight, schedule, budget, technical and financial reporting, customer interactions, business development, and follow-on proposals. At the time of delivery, the Guidestar system produced the highest single-pass 589 nm power in the world. The Guidestar system was delivered to Mauna Kea, Hawaii in 2005, was commissioned later that year and has been in operation since that time. Allen was also the Principal Investigator on a program tasked to design and build a compact, low cost, real-time 1.5 micron wind LIDAR sensor.  He also served as the Cost Account Manager and technical lead on a program developing a direct detection stand-off biological hazard sensor.  Allen left CTI in early 2012 to assume the position as Vice President of Optical Design at Sibelloptics.

Steve Vetorino

Immediately after receiving his Bachelors degree in Physics from Colorado State University in 1983, Steve accepted a position as a Laser Service Engineer with Spectra Physics. This work involved traveling to government, military, university and private research labs across the country and abroad in order to install and repair a wide range of high power lasers. In many cases Steve assisted researchers with the integration of laser systems into experimental setups designed to study ultra-fast chemical and physical processes. In 1990 Steve accepted a Research Engineer position with Coherent Technologies, Inc (CTI). During his 19 years at CTI, Steve worked on a variety of laser radar and multi-spectral transmitters. On one program Steve designed and built a compact and rugged diode pumped Nd: YAG laser and optical parametric oscillator (OPO) which produced wavelengths ranging from 1.5 to 8.0 microns. The unit demonstrated the capability of meeting the needs of battlefield communication, chemical detection, and sensor calibration. This system ultimately became the EOSS laser currently sold to Northrop Grumman and used on US aircraft carriers for calibrating combat aircraft FLIR equipment. On another program Steve designed and built the first 1.6 micron Erbium YAG long-range LIDAR transceiver used to detect wind shear, micro bursts, and aircraft turbulence. With Steve’s assistance, the first 1.6 micron WindTracer® was mounted in a P3 Orion aircraft. The system performed perfectly under extreme conditions while collecting ground breaking information on the formation of typhoons over the pacific.  In 2010, Steve began working as a technical consultant for KM Labs.  Over the past 2 years Steve has designed a wide range of highly stable optical mounts and carbon fiber laser platforms that are now used in KM Labs femtosecond oscillators and amplifiers.  While working at KM Labs, Steve headed up the development effort on the Phase I Compact Fiber Lidar program awarded to Sibelloptics.  Steve is now serving as Vice President of Product Development at Sibelloptics.

Rich Higgins

In 1985, after receiving his Masters degree in Physics from Colorado State University, Rich accepted a position as a civilian scientist with the Department of Defense where he conducted ground breaking ionospheric research. This research involved remote sampling using a phased array, high frequency radio telescope and provided, for the first time, large scale simultaneous ionospheric structure mapping. In 1988 Rich accepted a position with the Transportation Technology Center where he wrote and managed the development of a number of sophisticated software tools. He designed a load measuring transducer which significantly advanced the state of the art for this type of device. In addition, he designed and wrote the software which collects data from the transducer and performs real time data analysis and display. During this period Rich also developed numerous data visualization tools incorporating advanced algorithms (such as neural networks and simulated annealing) to assist engineers with analysis of multi-gigabyte data sets. Rich entered the field of telecommunications when he joined MCI in 1995 where he managed a 75 member software development and test organization. This group was responsible for producing call signaling and control software for a new network based interactive voice response system. This highly successful undertaking allowed MCI to consolidate a number of disparate proprietary systems into a single, high-availability platform. In the summer of 2000, Rich had the opportunity to join Time Warner Cable (TWC) assuming primary responsibility of building their voice over IP (VoIP) telephony program. In 2003, TWC was the first cable company to launch a VoIP service which currently has over 5,000,000 subscribers and generates more than $2 billion in annual revenue. During this time Rich also served on the Packet Cable Certification Board and the Technical Advisory Board of Syndeo Corporation. For the past 10 years Rich has been developing a very successful consulting practice and is now serving as Vice President of Cybersystems at Sibelloptics.

Jim Roby

Jim has over 25 years experience in the sales and marketing of sensor products to the meteorological market and was the Sales and Marketing Manager for CTI responsible for the sale of WindTracer® to one of the America’s Cup teams where it was used to provide critical wind data in preparation of this famous race as well as the sale the first WindTracer® to the Hong Kong International Airport in 2002. In the U.S., the distribution channel will be direct sales using the resources of the company.


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