A Family Affair

The basic principles behind the TriSonica wind sensor line were developed on the whiteboard in our dining room, the hub of family-owned Zrak Systems, where physics and calculus homework mingled with grocery lists, Dutch Blitz scores and Dungeons & Dragons campaigns in what was then a busy household of teenagers. 

Picking up where we left off last week, you’ll recall that with ATI’s blessing, Stephen and his family began independent design research for a new ultrasonic wind sensor in 2006. We formed Zrak Systems LLC to promote further development of Stephen’s design work..

Stephen’s idea was to bring vertical wind detection capability to commercial-level systems in a new way. He handcrafted his earliest prototypes from wood in our garage shop, and mounted them in the bed of Rusty, our ancient pickup truck, for concept testing. Our four children took turns as field assistants to dad, and conversations around the dinner table and on long car rides often turned to “The Sonic” and how to overcome some new technical hurdle.

Teenage Girl assembles MakerBot for Zrak SystemsFor several years, our ideas kept running ahead of what available technology could deliver. Our kids were tickled to assemble an early MakerBot; and with it we moved from wood prototyping to plastic. The first plastic prototype versions of what would become the TriSonica wind sensor line had round enclosures over the transducers that so reminded us of a favorite Muppet that among ourselves we called that prototype “Kermit.”

Zrak Systems was almost there, but we could see that we needed mechanical engineering expertise and an investor to help us get to the next stage.


Come say hello to us at Booth 102, AMS show in Austin, January 8-11, 2018!