Exquadrum: Developing Innovative Technology in Adelanto

In 2002, a couple of guys who know how to “think outside the box,” got together and founded a company called Exquadrum, which literally and figuratively means just that. The founders of Exquadrum, C.E.O. Kevin Mahaffy and President Eric Schmidt, are space engineers with special projects experience gained from working on behalf of various components of the Department of Defense during their tenure in the aerospace industry. Mahaffy and Schmidt met at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Rocket Propulsion Division at Edwards Air Force Base. While they both agreed the lab environment was a great experience, they were ready to innovate, make and test rockets and rocket-related technologies. Now, they are dedicated to continually creating and developing new innovative technologies for the both the U.S. Government or the commercial space industry. The company’s key personnel have over 130 years of combined experience in research and development. The company refers to its engineers as the “wonder kids”: designing and building prototypes, and testing highly effective systems for projects like space launch vehicles, propellants, propulsion systems, testing facility design, non-lethal munitions development, and systems to neutralize chemical and biological weapons. Never doing the same thing twice is the type of work they find extremely rewarding. Exquadrum has extensive experience in commercial and defense aerospace, solving the types of problems that are most highly sought after by government agencies like the U.S. Department of Defense, Air Force, and NASA. In June, 2014 Mahaffy and Schmidt were presented with the high-tech, small-business Tibbetts Award for the critical role their company plays in research and development for the government, and for their success in driving innovation and creating jobs. All this great work is being done in our own back yard on 1.3 acres of land with 10,000 square feet of industrial office space in Adelanto, with additional office space at the Southern California Logistics Airport. Both the indoor and outdoor space is used to the fullest extent, from computer design to manufacturing and testing of the prototypes. Inside are work areas that support engineering research and development, with high quality computer workstations that can accomplish any engineering task, and an in-house capability to write custom software as required. The facility is fully equipped to accommodate full-scale hardware and heavily invested in high precision turning, milling and plunging machines to accomplish aerospace grade prototype fabrication. There are areas with electronics benches for inspecting and assembling prototypes, and instrumentation to monitor pressure, temperature, mass volume flow rates, velocity, light energy, and other engineering areas of interest. Exquadrum is not a large company, and few others of its type exist. There is only a small market for what they do, and most other companies just do computer design, and don’t make prototypes or physically test them. It can also be a risky business. Exquadrum works with combining liquid hydrogen and oxygen to make rocket propellant, both substances that must be stored and handled with extreme care. Strict security and safety procedures are in effect at the site. “Why locate here?” is a question that is often asked by people when first hearing about Exquadrum. There’s logic in the fact that it is physically remote from high-density population areas. Also, it is near current and former military bases with a history of developing these types of projects. According to Schmidt, “There are some established high tech companies here that are one-of-a-kind and doing revolutionary work at the national level.” He emphasizes the need to develop educational opportunities in advanced technology for our youth. Examples are the engineering and machining programs that are now offered at several high schools in Apple Valley and Hesperia. “I’m a big advocate of education, and how it plays a big role in attracting a higher propensity of tech companies to locate in this area,” he said. For more information about Exquadrum, visit

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