About

The Business

Wide Swath Research, LLC is an engineering firm specializing in FPGA-based radar electronics, primarily for remote sensing applications.  The business is split into three divisions: Services, Products & R&D.

WSR: Services

Through WSR Services, we work with companies large and small from start-ups to defense contractors to government agencies.  For these customers we develop custom electronics, FPGA firmware and embedded software spanning the full engineering development cycle from concept through detailed design, to bench testing and finally to integration into operational systems.  Check out our Portfolio page for examples of this work.

WSR: Products

Coming soon.

WSR: Labs

WSR Labs is our internal research and development division, most of our products begin here.  These efforts are funded both internally and through outside sources such as NASA and various branches of the U.S. military.

The Team

Brandon Heavey: President

Role @ WSR: Brandon Heavey is the founder and President of Wide Swath Research, responsible for execution and growth of the company as well as being a key technical contributor.

Employment History: Brandon began his career in the Radar Section at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Early on he served in a variety roles designing both RF and digital electronics for instruments as varied as UAVSAR (airborne L-band), GLISTIN (Ka-band, DBF demonstration system), and the mars landing radar for Curiosity rover (Ka-band, space-borne instrument). Ultimately this breadth of experience led him to serve as the Instrument Engineer (JPL’s title for overall instrument and engineering team responsibility) for the AirMOSS program (airborne P-band). After 10 years at JPL, he left to start Wide Swath Research. Since then, WSR has gone on to consult for institutions large and small including: NASA, JPL, prime defense contractors, and even a few start-ups.

Education: He has an M.S. in Electrical Engineering (2005) and B.S. in Computer Engineering (2003) both from The University of Kansas. While in school he was named The Outstanding Graduate in his class and was also awarded a NASA fellowship to support his graduate school research (which included field campaigns to Greenland and Antarctica).

Coda: Brandon’s 20 years of experience in radar systems has covered everything from integration and test for the 35GHz Mars landing radar, to implementing real-time FPGA-based signal processing, to leading multiple aircraft radar developments. In addition to his work in radar, Brandon has also co-founded two other businesses in outside industries that continue to operate successfully to this day.


Torry Akins: Principal Digital Engineer

Torry Akins Digital EngineerRole @ WSR: Torry is the Principal Digital Engineer at Wide Swath Research – responsible for overall technical leadership in that domain. His expertise is in developing high performance, reconfigurable, FPGA-based radar subsystems. In this capacity, at WSR he is charged with defining digital architectures and ensuring the related hardware, firmware and software efforts meet his exacting standards.

Employment History: He began his career in the radar section at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he focused on new technology development. From there, he joined The University of Kansas’ Radar & Remote Sensing Laboratory, leading digital hardware development (and mentoring WSR’s future founder). Next, he moved on to Garmin International where he was Team Leader of the Transponders Group in the Aviation Hardware Department. His last stop prior to joining WSR was Remote Sensing Solutions, where he served as their Principal Hardware/Firmware Engineer, leading the digital design of their ARENA platform.

Education: Torry has both an M.S. (1998) and B.S. (1996) degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kansas.

Coda: Torry’s 25+ years of radar experience spans commercial, government and academia. He’s worked on ground based, airborne and satellite sensors. Torry has developed everything from waveform generators to high speed data acquisition systems to complex signal processor with his hands on software, hardware and firmware.


Asher Voris: Associate Digital Engineer

Role @ WSR: Asher is an Associate Digital Engineer at Wide Swath Research. His responsibilities cover the full stack of digital development including hardware design, embedded software and FPGA programming.

Employment History: He began his professional career at SerialTek where he learned key lessons about designing for manufacturing and played an integral role in the test and validation of their PCIe/NVMe bus analyzers.

Education: Asher attended the University of Colorado Boulder where he received a B.S. in Electrical & Computer Engineering (2021) and a minor in Computer Science (2021).

Coda: In addition to Asher’s broad set of digital design capabilities, his background in manufacturing and formalized testing brings a unique perspective to the team.


Bryan Townley: Digital Engineer

Bryan Townley Radar engineerRole @ WSR: Bryan’s role at Wide Swath covers the full digital development stack, though he is focused on radar hardware design and serves as our lab manager.

Employment History: Bryan began his career at The Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets where he developed RF radar electronics and deployed them in remote locations like Antarctica and Greenland.   He then joined Remote Sensing Solutions where he expanded his skillset to include digital and mechanical design.  His final stop prior to joining WSR was as a Senior Engineer at Tomorrow.io – there he helped refine their manufacturing process and developed electronics for their space program.

Education: Bryan attended the University of Kansas where he received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and was selected for the Rummer Senior Design Award (2011).

Coda: Bryan has nearly 15 years of experience in hardware development, spanning RF, digital and mechanical.  He’s led diverse efforts ranging from manufacturing to remote field experiments.  Bryan has designed radar electronics for ground-based, airborne and space borne platforms.  He’s an invaluable member of the team.