bridging from problem to prototype


Our multi-disciplinary team leverages the tools and technologies of deep space exploration to deliver mission critical, safety critical solutions for extreme environments.


the DISCIPLINED legislation of innovation

First Mode uses systems engineering, requirement-driven thinking, and an active management of risk and reward to guide the appropriate use of technology. We stay focused on answering the right questions, not selling hardware.

At each step, we help our clients to methodically strip out institutional heritage and human bias and to identify what is truly required for success. Taking a technology-agnostic approach allows us to design and deliver the right system, whether that is off-the-shelf, through the integration of sub-systems, or by creating an entirely new design.

A deep understanding of the relevant interfaces at play allow the system to embrace complexity as a competitive advantage, often producing revolutionary technologies as a result.

Innovation can be legislated, controlled, and even predictably delivered.

creativity driven by urgency

Once the right problem has been identified, by definition, there is urgency. With appropriate immediacy, creative solutions to what look like intractable problems are identified, evaluated, and negotiated between stakeholders. Decades of working under the pressures of orbital mechanics have taught us never to remove an idea prematurely, especially the crazy sounding one.

First Mode draws on the combined talents and experience of our team, our global network of subject matter experts, and our clients’ organizations to quickly generate an exhaustive option space from which to evaluate solutions. Ideas are challenged, changed, and assessed with precision — sometimes leading to uncomfortable departures from heritage.

By staying cognizant of the important questions, we never need to give more than one answer, even if it is a recommendation to abandon a project. Once justified, First Mode establishes and then executes a credible technology development and testing roadmap to guide the delivery of a final system with the same precision as landing on Mars.



Hardware development & Delivery

Like any piece of technology, a facility is just a tool, and often it takes more than one to bring the right capabilities to bear on a project. First and foremost, we’re obsessed with delivering the right results, and that means working efficiently and effectively across client geographies, vendors and 3rd parties, and specialized testing facilities.

Often, we think we can be of help to quickly bring concepts and designs into the real world. With over 7,500 sqft. of dedicated, reconfigurable lab, prototyping, build, and test space in downtown Seattle, we can deliver a rapid existence proof or a critical piece of flight hardware that must work the first time.

Other times, we know just who to call to make a miracle happen. First Mode regularly serves as an integrator, managing all the moving parts to ensure on-time delivery for integration and testing.

Let’s get on the same team.