Huntsville, Ala. -- Memphis in May is a festival that attracts thousands of visitors. America's missile defense systems protect millions of people. Huntsville's Paragon Research has something to do with both things. "We do a lot for a company our size," says Kelly Falter, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientist for Paragon.
Falter isn't exaggerating. The 20 employees at Paragon Research could be working on upgrading the cyber network for the Tennessee Valley Authority, or they might be working on sensors like those installed on the Guntersville Police Department's Patrol Boat. Sensors, by the way, are why Paragon got started back in 2009. "We'd already been working with some police departments developing sensors to detect chemical weapons and explosives and our idea was to expand that to other first responders," says Kelly Falter.
That initial effort to develop a sensor system led to "RapidSense, a sensor product to detect radiation, nuclear, chemicals and explosives. One company goal is to have a factory to produce "RapidSense" products. "It's the perfect time in history for companies like ours and that's mainly due to the threat to the United States," says Kelly Falter.
That ongoing threat is why Paragon sensors were used to protect the Memphis in May festival. The cyber threat and protection from it in places like missile defense, another Paragon effort with no end in sight. "From one standpoint the cyber security requirements are growing on a daily basis. We see that in the news," says Falter.
Something else in the news is genetic research, and Paragon is involved in that area by doing data analysis. The same kind of analytics already used to predict future power usage by a large company. Kelly Falter says no matter the project or the area of work, the goal for the company is the same. "The ultimate goal is to help protect people and help protect families," says Falter.
Getting work in multiple fields is just one way that Paragon workers know they're involved in worthwhile projects. Another is an award from the Department of Defense. The DOD has presented Paragon with the Nunn-Perry Award for its work with Huntsville's Tec Masters Inc, and the support that has provided to the Missile Defense Agency under the Mentor-Protege Program.