About Our Team of Experienced Aerial Production Filmmakers
DAVID WAGREICH – Founder and CEO
David is the founder of Astraeus Aerial and its affiliated company, Astraeus Aerospace. He is inventor of Astraeus’ revolutionary (patented) Virtual Piloting System (VPS), in addition to other cutting-edge drone technologies. Drawing on his 35 years in the film industry as a director and cinematographer—and his experience as an 1800-hour instrument-rated pilot—David developed the VPS to overcome what he recognized as significant limitations pertaining to pilot situational awareness, and the need for pilot-controlled, precision BLOS (beyond line of sight) guidance and maneuverability of unmanned aerial systems. David was a key participant, working closely with the Motion Picture Association of America and the FAA, in crafting the initial FAA Section 333 Exemption for commercial use of UAS in the United States, and is considered an authority on drone systems and aerial image capture. As a filmmaker, he has worked on numerous well-known major studio films, television shows, and commercials, and has extensive full-scale helicopter and underwater cinematography experience. Two of the films David contributed to as cinematographer—“Legends of the Fall” and “Glory”—received Academy Awards for Best Cinematography.
JUAN SIMÓ – CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER
World-renowned for his work in wireless video technologies, Juan Simó’s company, Circular Wireless, has become a leader in the design and manufacture of circular polarization antennas for video transmission from flying platforms, with sales in 50+ countries. His antenna designs hold the FPV world record for range, at 111 km. Juan has developed a groundbreaking, “double diversity” multi-frequency video transmission and reception repeater system that dramatically increases the quality, range, and reliability of video links, along with a unique, dual-independent command and control redundancy system that offers an unequaled degree of robustness and operational safety to our aircraft flight control and computer systems. Recently, Juan developed and finalized a wireless monitor and remote alarm device using a NFC (near-field communication) protocol in combination with existing CGM (continuous glucose monitoring) sensors that detect critical hypoglycemic episodes for immobile, incapacitated, or pre-adolescent diabetes patients. Additionally, he functions as an RF advisor to a Swiss-based company that operates FLIR-equipped drones for search and rescue operations in remote, mountainous areas in Europe. Juan attended Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, E.T.S.I. Telecomunicación, where he received an MSEE-Master of Science in Electrical Engineering. He also served as a Sub Lieutenant in the Spanish Navy.
HAL WINER – DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Hal brings a lifetime of operational and sales experience to Astraeus. Until recently, he owned and operated BiCoastal Music LTD, a world-class audio recording facility and production company. As producer, engineer and proprietor, Hal serviced major label and indie recording artists as well as producers, engineers and musicians. As our Director of Operations, Hal is responsible for business development, sales, client services, bookings, production logistics, shop management and technology support.
Corey Gineris – CHIEF PILOT / DESIGN ENGINEER
Corey has been flying acrobatic radio controlled aircraft since he was nine years old. During the infancy of First Person View (FPV) applications to RC, Corey began assembling equipment that he incorporated into small high performance helicopters, which he flew with only the assistance of a small Monitor and without gyroscopic stabilization of any kind. Since then, his education and experience have focused on fabrication and design, including kinematic range of motion analysis, machining, metal fabrication, welding, electronics, wiring, and engine maintenance. This expertise has enabled his inspired and extremely rugged retractable landing gear design for our V.3CS aircraft. Corey’s passions take him outdoors—for motocross, surfing, snowboarding, boating, skiing, fishing, camping, and hiking—and photography has always interested him as he’s paused along the way.
ZACK HASKELL – CAMERA OPERATOR
Zack is a cinematographer and aerial camera operator with experience shooting on feature films, episodic television, TV commercials, narrative shorts, music videos and digital series for a variety of clients. As an integral member of the Astraeus team from its inception, Zack’s insights have been instrumental in guiding the development of our image-capture system methodology. This gives him an eye for the unique capabilities of the Astraeus aircraft. Zack holds an M.F.A. in Film & TV Production, with an emphasis in Cinematography, from the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
Miguel Hernández – Research and Development / Software Engineer
A computer expert specializing in software development, engineering, and systems management, Miguel holds a postgraduate degree in computer science R&D. He currently works with a number of multidisciplinary groups at several prestigious European universities. Passionate about mathematics, and noted for his ability work in the abstract, Miguel possesses the rare ability to solve problems intuitively without necessarily having a deep knowledge of a subject. This brilliance has allowed him to pioneer groundbreaking componentry that allows our company to remain on the cutting edge of aerial image capture.
Arnau carrasco – research and Development / Electronics Engineer
During his studies to become a music teacher, Arnau detected a major security flaw in the computer network of his university—which promptly hired him as a systems analyst. A year later he was appointed Director of Networks and Security at that institution. Passionate about the world of electronics, Arnau has generated a multitude of high tech electrical hardware advancements and is also an expert in software, operating systems and networks. His talent has facilitated the development of many unique, innovative system and circuitry solutions for our aircraft and ground systems.