Altaeros’ mission is to deliver the most advanced autonomous aerostat systems


Autonomous aerostats drive safety, efficiency, and cost savings in a variety of applications in the commercial and government sectors.

Altaeros’ History

Altaeros spun out of MIT in 2010 on a mission to make the world’s first autonomous aerostat. We released our first autonomous aerostat in 2019 and have now deployed aerostats in the US and around the world with various partners. Our Autonomous Aerostats are powered by Aerostat Autopilot, the first autonomous control system for tethered aerostats.

The Altaeros team standing in front of a SuperTower prototype

Altaeros’ Leadership

Ben Glass

Ben Glass

CEO/CTO & Founder

Ben is leading the Altaeros team on its journey to bring modern infrastructure to the billions of un-served and under-served people around the world. He is driven by a belief that business and technical innovation are the key to creating positive, scalable impact. At Altaeros, Ben is responsible for setting the company’s strategic vision and keeping the whole team moving towards that vision, as well as providing operational direction for the company. Ben originally developed the idea for Altaeros while researching compact, efficient turbomachinery as part of the MIT Gas Turbine Lab. After developing the initial prototypes, Ben co-founded Altaeros in 2010. He holds a BS and MS in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from MIT. Ben also serves on the Altaeros Board as a Director.

Jeff Lloyd-Jones

Jeff Lloyd-Jones


Jeff Lloyd-Jones joined Altaeros as President in 2023. Prior to joining Altaeros, Jeff served as the Vice President of Strategic Business Development for Ultra Intelligence and Communication where he directed global operations for business capture in the Command, Control and Intelligence Business Unit.  He also held the collateral positions of Director of Programs and President of the US Chapter of the International Data Link Society. Prior to joining Ultra, Jeff held the rank of Lieutenant Commander, United States Navy and retired after 22 years of service from Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Pacific (SSC PAC). Jeff earned a Master of Science degree from the University of San Diego and attended the Naval Postgraduate School where he studied Systems Engineering. Jeff also serves on the Altaeros Board as a Director.

Ike Okonkwo

Ike Okonkwo


Ike joined Altaeros in June 2022. He brings over 20 years of Accounting, Finance, and Business Process experience from high-technology companies. Working in concert with other members of the leadership team, his expertise is instrumental in strengthening and scaling the company in its mission to simplify how data is shared between people, machines, and networks. Prior to Altaeros, he was VP of Finance and Accounting at Transmedics. He previously served in senior leadership roles at Kadant, Haemonetics, and Avid. He began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a Master’s degree in Finance from the University of Benin, Nigeria.

Jack Brooks

Jack Brooks

VP of Engineering - Software Systems

Jack joined Altaeros in 2024 with an extensive background in building mission and businesscritical software systems in a range of problem domains In this role, Jack leads the development of Altaeros’ Aerostat Autopilot and Remote Operations software, leveraging operational data as a means for continuous product development. Jack has built and led software development teams that created command and control systems, 3D content creation pipelines, energy management IoT ecosystems, and backend systems for largescale e-commerce sites. He has held senior technical leadership positions at companies as diverse as Raytheon Technologies, Walt Disney Animation, Technicolor, and Wayfair. Jack earned a BS in Aeronautical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 

John Umina

John Umina

VP of Engineering - Hardware Systems

John Umina joined Altaeros in 2016 with a passion for engineering and a vision for the SuperTower. After 20+ years of engineering experience in product design, manufacturing, and certification, John is able to lead the hardware team with an expert hand. He brings a perspective to Altaeros from his experiences at GE to running his own consulting business. John is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Massachusetts and holds five patents. John earned his BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University.

Board of Directors

Arunas Chesonis

Board Member

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Arunas Chesonis is a Managing Partner at Safar Partners. He has a long history in sustainability and has supported numerous environmental and renewable energy research projects at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to address climate change. He has also personally invested in the past 15 years in cleantech, life sciences, and information technology ventures through his involvement at universities in Boston and Rochester. Arunas served as CEO of Sweetwater Energy and prior to that, he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PAETEC Holding Corp., a Fortune 1000 telecommunications company acquired in 2011 by Windstream Corp. (NASDAQ: WIN), one of the largest national telecom carriers. Arunas founded PAETEC in 1998.

 He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from MIT, an MBA from the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester, and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Rochester. Arunas is also a member of the M.I.T. Corporation and is a life trustee of the University of Rochester.

Shigeki (Sean) Miwa

Board Member

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Shigeki (Sean) Miwa holds several positions concurrently including Board Member of Exeger Operations AB in Stockholm (from 2019), Board Member of Altaeros Energies, Inc. in Boston (from 2014), and Board Member of the Renewable Energy Institute in Tokyo (from 2014). Before joining SoftBank Corp. (currently SoftBank Group Corp.) in 2011, he worked for Mitsui & Co. Ltd., from 1991 mainly in the natural resources and energy sector, based in Tokyo, Sydney and Brisbane. Mr. Miwa graduated from Waseda University in Tokyo with a BA in history, received a Master of Financial Management and an MBA from the Graduate School of Management, Macquarie University in Sydney, and completed the General Management Program at Harvard Business School in Boston.

Stephen Brackett

Board Member

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Mr. Brackett is an owner and a member of the Management Board of Shepherd Kaplan Krochuk. He has 39 years of experience in the financial services industry primarily focused on private equity and venture capital investing, fund development, investment banking, and structured finance. He is the President of the Firm, co-Head of Alternative Investments for the Firm’s Asset Management Division, and Chairman of the Firm’s Private Equity Committee.

His responsibilities include managing and developing alternative investment initiatives. This involves product development, transaction origination, capital formation, portfolio construction, due diligence across investment and operational functions, strategic initiative development and management, and divisional governance.

Prior to SKK, Steve helped launch and develop divisions of a number of private equity, venture and hedge fund platforms in partnership with global financial institutions, such as ING Bank and Manulife Financial Corporation. He ran the Investment Banking and Corporate Advisory Practice for Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Capital Corporation (BTMCC) and also held senior positions in the real estate, investment banking and trading sectors.

He is a director or equivalent of NanoDx Inc., Trilio Data Inc., Trellis Software, Inc., Altaeros, Inc., Global Partners Property Fund, EnviroKure, Inc., and Provident Healthcare Partners,LLC.

Steve serves as a Director of the American Red Cross of Massachusetts and Sudbury for Wounded Warriors,  and is on the Leadership Council of The Home Base Project.

He received a B.A. in Political Science from Bates College.

R. Gerard Salemme

Board Member

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R. Gerard Salemme is Co-CEO and Board member of Pendrell Corp. Over the past 40 years, Gerry has held senior leadership positions in the telecommunications companies that have been at the forefront of technological innovation such as McCaw Cellular (AT&T Wireless), ICO Global, Nextel, Nextlink, XO Communications and Clearwire. These and related companies have raised over $45 billion dollars and successfully spawned technologies and companies that comprise part of the core or the nation’s wireless terrestrial and satellite networks. He also held senior positions at legacy telecommunications companies like AT&T, GTE, and US Sprint.

Previously, he served on the Board of Directors of EarthLink Corp, Taqua, LLC, Recon Dynamics, ICO Global and DBSD. He is currently on the board of Pendrell Corp. Content Guard, Altaeros, and is Chairman of the Board of Onclave Networks, In the public sector, he served as senior policy analyst for the Energy and Commerce Committee of the US House of Representatives. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Economics from Boston College. He lives in Arlington, VA with his wife and two sons where he is a small business owner.

Mauricio Quintana

Board Member

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Mauricio Quintana brings nearly 30 years of strong industry experience from blue-chip businesses such as ABB and United Technologies (UTX), and renewable companies like EcoMerit Technologies and Clipper Windpower. Mauricio Quintana is from Costa Rica and has global experience from positions in USA, including California, Connecticut and Texas, as well as positions in Switzerland and Costa Rica. In his 8 years with ABB, he amongst other responsibilities, led the rebuilding of Power Grid service, a global multi-billion USD business, resulting in increased growth, profitability, and significant shareholder value to ABB.  He currently serves as the CEO of KK Wind Solutions.


Jack Hammond

Board Advisor

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Jack Hammond is a retired U.S. Army Brigadier General with multiple combat commands and currently serves as the Chief Executive for the Home Base National Center of Excellence for Mental Health and Brain Injuries. He is a decorated combat leader and private sector innovator who has served on advisory groups for presidents, governors, and businesses. Hammond has also presented on his innovative programs and leadership at the White House, the United Kingdom’s Parliament, Presidential libraries, and with national companies working in defense, construction, biotechnology, marketing, and more. Hammond has led U.S. and NATO forces in combat and counter-terrorism operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. This includes; simultaneously commanding two separate Battalion level Task Forces on more than one hundred successful intelligence-fused counter-terrorist operations in Iraq, responding to both WMD events and Mass Casualty suicide bombings, and an attack on our US Embassy.

In 2012 Hammond was invited to lead Home Base, which is a unique partnership between the Boston Red Sox and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Over the past decade Hammond and his team have; established the nation’s first private sector Center of Excellence for the Invisible Wounds, developed innovative solutions for mental health and brain injuries, and leveraged the faculty and clinical resources of MGH and Harvard Medical School to reimagine Veteran mental health and brain injury care. All of these treatments are provided at no cost to the Veterans, and military service members, and families we care for.

General Hammond has earned Degrees from the University of Massachusetts and Boston University and completed a National Security Fellowship at Harvard University.

His military awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit Medal for combat service, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal for Valor, two Valorous Unit Awards, the Combat Action Badge, the French Medal of National Defense, and the Bulgarian Medal of Mission Support.

Rob Scott

Board Advisor

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Rob Scott is a dynamic leader with a track record of success in startups, transformations, and strategic acquisitions. As the former CEO of Cygilant and Bradford Networks, he has demonstrated his ability to drive profitable outcomes and lead companies through challenging phases. Rob’s career highlights include overseeing the turnaround of the HP Halo Division and the strategic acquisition of 3Com Corp at Hewlett Packard.


His experience in the financial services industry dates back to his tenure with Square 1 Bank, where he joined as a Board Member in 2010. During his time there, Rob witnessed consistent annual growth in the venture debt market, culminating in the bank’s successful IPO on the NASDAQ in 2015. Shortly after this milestone, Square 1 was acquired by PacWest bank in 2016. Following the acquisition, Rob transitioned to Avid Bank, where he continues to serve as a board member.


Rob has built an extensive global network and connections across industries, contributing to the growth of businesses and the professional development of individuals. Rob is an active supporter of entrepreneurial talent and has been featured in prominent business media and was honored with the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002.


He currently serves as the Chairman of AssetPass, a disruptive fintech startup, and is on the Customer Advisory Board of Fortinet, a global leader in cybersecurity, offering innovative solutions to protect organizations against cyber threats. Furthermore, he co-founded Lets Go Racing, an organization that creates partnerships between innovative brands and motorsport teams. With over 35 years in the technology industry, Rob continues to bring passion and energy to his work.

Doug Britton

Board Advisor

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Doug Britton is Chief Strategy Officer and Director of RunSafe Security and a member of its board of directors. As RunSafe’s CTO, Doug plays an essential role in showcasing how RunSafe’s technology changes the economics of cyber defense, and he has been instrumental in driving the RunSafe technology strategy and roadmap, the development of its patent portfolio and IP strategy, managing software development teams, and building a world-class security research team. Prior to RunSafe Security, Doug founded Kaprica Security which sold its Tachyon business to Samsung. He has also managed large-scale security research, reverse engineering, and exploit development programs for Lockheed Martin. A trained computer scientist, Doug started his career in the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, before serving as a Russian Linguist and Interrogator in the US Army. He has also earned an MBA from University of Maryland and mentors several entrepreneurs and students launching their business.



Altaeros News

ALTAEROS AWARDED 5 YEAR, $99M CONTRACT – Oct. 3rd, 2023 Read here

Altaeros Takes Part in ARCANE THUNDER, A Multinational Military Exercise – Aug. 29, 2023 Read Here

Altaeros ST-Flex Receives ATTLA Certification for Shipping Via US Military Air Transport – Jul. 21, 2023 Read Here

SoftBank and Altaeros Launch World’s First Autonomous Aerostat – Jun. 22, 2022  Read here

World Mobile, Altaeros partner to launch aerostat balloons to connect the unconnected in Africa – Dec. 28, 2021 – Read here

Altaeros Completes Customer Acceptance Testing on New SuperTower (ST-Flex) – Jul. 6, 2021 – Read here

Altaeros Launches ST-Flex, Portable Rapid Response Aerial Cell Tower – Oct. 13, 2020 – Read here

Sparx Mirai Creation Fund II Invests in Altaeros’ SuperTower Technology – Mar. 18, 2020 – Read here

Ondas Networks and Altaeros to Provide Wide-Area Aerostat Network for Mission-Critical IoT – Jul. 29, 2019 – Read here

World’s First Commercial Aerial Cell Tower Launched by Altaeros – Feb. 12, 2019 – Read here

Wireless SuperTowers Connect Rural Areas with Mobile Broadband – Feb. 15, 2018 – Read here

Altaeros is Hiring! 

Join our growing team and help us design, build, and deploy the world’s most advanced autonomous aerostat systems.