When Your Project is Mission Critical

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First Mode helps companies, governments, and individuals articulate—then solve—their toughest challenges.




problem definition

Rigorous identification of the problem minimizes costs, risks, and re-work, long before a solution exists in a physical form.

First Mode begins with root-cause identification, customer-centric problem definition and exploration, and the generation of system requirements and constraints.


Concept & architecture

Once the bounds of a problem are known, we work with clients to define a concept of operations and solution architecture.

This includes comprehensive trade studies and analysis to ensure the entire field of possible solutions is identified. This is followed by interface definition between systems and sub-systems, leading to fully developed architectures.


Detailed Design & Analysis

First Mode is a creative powerhouse of design, engineering, and scientific talent, working across disciplines to create a detailed design that satisfies all user requirements.

Mechanical, Thermal, Electrical, Software, Firmware, Embedded, Instruments, Applied Science, Geology — First Mode has it all.



When it’s time to demonstrate a concept, produce flight hardware, or fabricate a solution, First Mode can seamlessly move from design to prototyping.

First Mode has over 7,500 sqft of reconfigurable and dedicated lab space, a trusted network of partners around the globe, and a history of successful delivery.



Often the most difficult part of designing a revolutionary solution or product is having all the pieces work together the first time the “on” button is pushed.

We have decades of experience in the large-scale integration of complex systems underground, underwater, on the surface, and out in space.



Once the system is running, validation and verification testing ensure that your system is performing as expected. Especially on safety and mission critical items, robust testing is critical.

Our services include test design and execution, environmental test support and management, and lifetime testing.

Capturing the whole picture

Systems engineering unifies and underlies everything we do as a team, coordinating sometimes thousands of parts, people, companies, and priorities.