Meet Diane Burchett, Kepler’s Director of Engineering. Since joining Kepler in August 2020, Diane has proven to be an invaluable member of the Kepler team. As the Director of Engineering, Diane manages a team of 43 people, including 5 engineering managers.
Women’s Day 2020 is just around the corner. To celebrate, we are introducing you to a few of the engineers that make up our team. Get to know a few of the amazing women that have chosen Kepler as the place to make their mark in the aerospace industry.
The largest expedition ever to the high north, which set sail last September, has reached the North Pole with its crew of hundreds of scientists looking to study on of the planet’s least understood region. The research will reveal the actual speed and nature of global climate change.
In the last few weeks, Kepler delivered the flight model for the TARS payload to be integrated with the satellite BUS. This major step closes out nearly 12 months of development and production efforts. The next few months will see the spacecraft undergo integration, systems-level testing, and finally launch into orbit to carry-out its mission. And although we cannot yet put our feet up and consider the satellite ‘complete’, we can highlight some of the exciting improvements that were made to the platform.
There are a small number of satellite communications services available today for customers. The bulk of these services are mostly regional and, therefore, businesses have to limit their operations and procedures to the bandwidth and coverage that is available to them. What most companies are unaware off is that there are new Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellations that can provide global connectivity without sacrificing bandwidth. In fact, networks such as Kepler’s offer a significantly higher capacity for users needing to transfer large amounts of data for a low cost.
2018 has been one of the most challenging and rewarding years for the team at Kepler. We have gone through what feels like several years of development in a tremendously compressed timeline. This growth was no small feat or a result of luck (debatable), but rather the output of continuous effort and a very real struggle. A struggle that was hard fought with many sleepless nights, debates, and committed team members1 – to whom I can’t afford enough credit.
We began Kepler in 2015 with a singular mission to build in-space telecommunications infrastructure. Like the railroads that helped settle the western frontier, we believe connectivity infrastructure is an intrinsic good that will be needed to expand humanity into space. As we set upon this Mission, there were early indicators suggesting this future was not so farfetched nor distant.
Kepler has contracted leading UK small satellite manufacturer, ÅAC Clyde, for a 6U satellite bus in support of the machine-to-machine communications mission. This new platform, TARS, will be the third built by the company for Kepler’s growing constellation, offering satellite communication services for Internet of Things (IoT) and data backhaul applications. The mission is part of the UK’s Satellite Applications Catapult In-Orbit Demonstration Mission 5.
Kepler has been awarded the 5th In-Orbit Demonstration Mission (IOD 5) by the Satellite Applications Catapult, a UK space innovation company, to develop its third and last demonstration satellite. This satellite will form a service demonstration for Kepler’s Global Data Service, a pole-to-pole wideband satellite communications service, while also providing a demonstration platform for the company’s IoT offering. The satellite is planned to launch in the latter half of 2019
Innovation and an agile methodology are two of the guiding principles that drive the success of our research and development process at Kepler. These principles help us to maintain a high level of adaptation to the challenges of designing, building and launching satellites to space.