We are an aerospace and commercial product driven company. located in Huntsville, Alabama. We provide affordable technical solutions through proven experience and success.
We work with liquid propulsion, air breathing propulsion, fluid and pressurization systems, launch vehicles and related analysis.
We offer a small prototype and fab research environment, with multiple in house CNC and Additive manufacturing capabilities.
Our test facility contains two proven test cells capable of testing a wide range of combustion devices. PI also offers a small scale vacuum test cell. Our facility is very configuration-flexible.
Tim Pickens is known for applying a lean philosophy to develop creative solutions and innovative partnerships resulting in responsive, low-cost products and services. His 20+ years of experience in the aerospace industry, specializing in the design, fabrication, and testing of propulsion hardware systems, has earned him a reputation as one of the industry’s leaders in these areas. He has spent his entire career focusing on his goal of providing/supporting low-cost access to space.
Pickens has designed liquid and hybrid rocket motors ranging from five to 375,000 pounds of thrust. He has led composite component design and manufacturing of rocket motor cases, nozzles, tanks, and other vehicle components. He has also designed and constructed multiple test set-ups involving the use of advanced instrumentation, signal conditioning, and data acquisition-related electronics. He has designed and constructed rocket fluid control electronics, as well as specialized prototype test equipment and machinery.
Early in his career, Pickens served as propulsion lead for Scaled Composites on SpaceShipOne, winner of the $10 million Ansari X Prize. He also worked for small hardware-rich aerospace companies in Huntsville, giving him invaluable hands-on, practical experience.
A serial entrepreneur, Pickens’ greatest business success to date is Orion Propulsion, a Huntsville aerospace company he founded in 2004 and sold to Dynetics in 2009 after growing it to a 40-employee, $6.4 million business with no outside investment. Within five years, Orion had received multiple Small Business awards and become AS9100-certified to build man-rated flight hardware. Pickens created at Orion a balanced aerospace business portfolio, with business divided one-third among NASA, the Department of Defense (DoD), and commercial. In addition to leading the company, he provided technical leadership, sales support, and proposal support on multiple SBIRs leading to NASA and DoD proposal wins.
Pickens has received numerous awards for business and technical accomplishments, and gives presentations and leads panels at conferences all over the country on topics ranging from low-cost launch solutions to risk reduction in business operations. His hobbies include building things – like rocket-powered vehicles – in his Man Cave. His passion for rockets began when he was a small child in Huntsville and continued into his adult life as a serious hobby. He led multiple amateur rocket design efforts in his garage for community service and recreational clubs and worked as an independent aerospace consultant at night and on weekends. One amateur rocket project he led made its way into the Guinness Book of Records. Project HALO (High Altitude Lift Off) set an amateur rocket altitude record in May 1997 of over 65 kilometers.
Pickens had a long-time interest in studying applied engineering and science, but the desire to own and operate a space company would drive him to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.