The Team

The IJK Controls team is a fusion of experienced senior engineers and their decades of real-world lessons with energetic young engineers versed in the latest technologies. Our skill set spans the controls discipline and allows us to cover all the necessary components of product development. We have controls PhDs on staff in addition to design engineers. We rely on a network of trusted consultants for focused experienced in areas such as optics or RF design.

Senior Management

James DeBruin, PhD, President

Dr. DeBruin brings 30 years of engineering, team leadership, and product development experience within the defense and aerospace industry to IJK Controls. He is an expert in control system design and implementation with depth in kinematics, dynamics, and system simulation. His breadth as a system engineer includes gimbal design, mechanism analysis, servo electronics and real-time code, optics, RF and antenna systems, and satellite communications. He has extensive industry and research experience with gimbaled systems for stabilization, pointing, and tracking, including 13 years as a dynamicist and servo engineer in the Control Systems Technology Center of Texas Instruments Defense (now Raytheon). Recent experience includes five years as Director of Product Development for Satcom-on-the-Move™ mobile antenna products at General Dynamics Satcom Technologies. During this time, Dr. DeBruin led the product team from start-up through multiple design cycles and product releases to build the industry’s leading mobile satcom antenna product line. Dr. DeBruin has authored and co-authored many technical papers, taught at the university level and developed and presented industry training classes on controls, kinematics, dynamics, stabilization, pointing and tracking.

In his spare time, James plays electric guitar in a local band (and fixes the amps).

Gunnar Ristroph, Partner

Gunnar Ristroph has a combined controls, mechanical and software background. Mr. Ristroph has designed control algorithms and built detailed simulations for everything from hybrid-phased-array antenna pointing and tracking to low-cost stabilized imaging systems. Mr. Ristroph has led servo and software development for stabilized gimbals and integrated products such as a fire control system. He enjoys seeing a project from conceptual controls study through to production.

Mr. Ristroph led IJK Controls involvement in research projects for experimental lasercomm on-the-move and a sensor fusion estimator for integrated navigation and tracking. Mr. Ristroph received degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Controls and Dynamical Systems from the California Institute of Technology. His publications cover topics from air vehicle flight stability (PNAS) to control of flexible structures for stabilized pointing systems (SPIE).

Gunnar enjoys rock-climbing, kayaking and sailing.

Selected Publications

  • Ristroph, Predicting and preventing reaction torque coupling in gimbal system mounts, 8052-20, Acquisition, Tracking, Pointing, and Laser Systems Technologies XXV, SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing 2011
  • Ristroph, Servo Performance Levels Required to Meet FCC VMES Pointing Requirements for Satcom-on-the-Move Antennas on Ground Vehicles, Proceedings of the Military Communications Conference, 2010.
  • Ristroph at el, Discovering the flight auto-stabilizer of fruit flies by inducing aerial stumbles, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences with Leif Ristroph, March 16, 2010 vol. 107 no. 11
  • DeBruin, "Shock isolation for mobile pointed satcom systems", Proceedings of the 2008 Military Communications Conference, Oct 2008, San Diego, distributed by IEEE.
  • DeBruin (with  Ortega, J.), "Picking the winners in large-scale ground-vehicle satcom-on-the-move deployments", Proceedings of the 2008 Military Communications Conference, Oct 2008, San Diego, distributed by IEEE.
  • DeBruin, "Control systems for mobile satcom antennas", Control System Magazine, IEEE, Bernstein, D., Ed, Volume 28, Issue 1,  Feb. 2008, pp. 86-101.
  • First principles determination of the bound levels of Li-H2 published in Journal of Chemical Physics, Vol 116 Num 21, 1 June 2002 with Gregory Gellene.
  • DeBruin, "Dynamically tuned gyroscopes in stabilized electro-optical sights", Acquisition, Pointing, Tracking XIII, Masten, M. and Stockum, L., eds., Proceedings SPIE, Vol. 3692, 1999, pp. 94-99.
  • DeBruin (with Clemenger, J.) "Application of high-power, pulse width modulated hybrid motor controllers to stabilized gimbal systems", Acquisition, Pointing, Tracking XIII, Masten, M. and Stockum, L., eds., Proceedings SPIE, Vol. 3692, 1999, pp. 84-93.
  • DeBruin (with Royalty, J., Wand, M., and Allen, E.) "Feedforward stabilization testbed," Acquisition, Pointing, Tracking X, Masten, M. and Stockum, L., eds., Proceedings SPIE, Vol. 2739, 1996, pp. 204-214.
  • DeBruin (with  Johnson, D. B.) "Derivation of structural influence coefficients for long-focus imaging optical systems," Current Developments in Optical Design and Optical Engineering IV, Fischer, R. E. and Smith, W. J., eds., Proceedings SPIE, Vol. 2263, 1994, pp. 341-368.
  • DeBruin (with  Johnson, D. B.) "Derivation of structural influence coefficients for plane-mirror optical systems," Acquisition, Pointing, Tracking VIII, Masten, M., et al., eds., Proceedings SPIE, Vol. 2221, 1994, pp. 379-401.
  • DeBruin (with  Johnson, D. B.) "Reducing the design cycle time of mechanisms with integrated design and dynamic analysis software," Invited Paper, Proceedings of the 1993 Pro/USER Conference, 1993.
  • DeBruin (with  Johnson, D. B.) "Line-of-sight reference frames: a unified approach to plane-mirror optical kinematics," Acquisition, Pointing, Tracking VI, Masten, M. and Stockum, L., eds., Proceedings SPIE, Vol. 1697, 1992, pp. 111-129.
  • DeBruin (with  Johnson, D. B.) "Image rotation in plane-mirror optical systems," Control for Optical Systems, Breakwell, J., ed., Proceedings SPIE, Vol. 1696, 1992, pp. 41-59.
  • DeBruin, "Derivation of line-of-sight stabilization equations for gimbaled-mirror optical systems," Active and Adaptive Optical Components, Ealey, M., ed., Proceedings SPIE, Vol. 1543, 1991, pp. 236-247.