Whether it be social, recreational, or professional, some of what represents me is here. Post a comment, or contact me at should you so desire.

The posts are in reverse chronological order, and are pegged by topic on the links to the left. For more of an introduction, please see the About this site page listed above.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

One Year with NSR!

Hello! Bienvenue! Welcome to Embrace Space, and my first post of 2017! I just finished a crazy marathon of work, and I thought I would take the time to talk a little more about my year with NSR! 

One year, already, almost. Technically, I started later in the month last February, but since I have a moment now, I thought I'd get "ahead of the curve". That's NSR's motto, by the way.

Northern Sky Research. It has been a good year. To date, I have worked on 5 multi-client reports, and a number of custom consulting projects, one of which I completed independently. I've attended a conference in Hamburg for my company, and will be attending another this coming March. It has been busy, but I have learned a lot!

I have jumped around quite a bit, learning about maritime, land-mobile, and Earth Observation markets, government satcom and, most recently, flat panel antennas. I have worked on every stage of our projects, from base data collection, interviews, forecasting, and putting it all together for our clients. 

Through it all, the team has been very supportive. We have a small team, but very communicative and insightful. It's funny how much interaction I've had from a bunch of people I'm mostly never met. All of our work and communication is online, so March's conference will be my first chance to physically meet everyone.

The president of the company was in Strasbourg back in December; it was really nice to meet him, speak with him, and enjoy a rather amusing dinner with him and Claude, another colleague who lives in Strasbourg.

This role has been quite excellent for me. First, it provides both money and experience, the two most immediate aspects of any employment. I'll talk about this in a later post, but it is very comforting to not have to feel so much financial stress anymore.

In terms of experience, my work allows me to analyze markets from different perspectives, trying to better understand what drives the industry. I am happy to say that my technical background has been very helpful here. Understanding the technical capabilities, and limitations, of satellite technology helps you to better understand the potential it has on the market.

Take flat panel antennas, for example, the report I just finished. Most people are very aware of parabolic dishes, the kind you see, well, everywhere. On the sides of buildings, boats, even news vans. Parabolic dishes have been the staple for years, mechanically turning to track the satellites to which they are pointed. 

However, there has been a push for a flatter antenna, one which steers either mechanically or, on the leading technological edge, doesn't move at all, but electronically re-shapes the signal beam to send/receive satellite signals.

Pretty cool, right? Sure, but as you can imagine, it's challenging. The tech has been around for decades, but has remained difficult and generally less efficient than parabolic dishes. Electronically-steered antennas run the risk of interfering with each other and other satellites if they are not accurate enough, and lower efficiency per area of the panel often means you need a larger surface, even if it's flat. This difficulty often means the presence of complexity, and that complexity means the flat panels are more expensive than their parabolic counterparts.

Anyway, I won't bore you with the details, but I just wanted to provide some insight as to how it works, how I work. Start with what you know, then research and interview to learn more.

That brings us to the end of this post. I am working on many things, these days, and I want to continue to improve in all my endeavours. I know that this blog has been lacking on the space/science/engineering end of things, but I'm hoping to change that, find interesting things to talk about, things I can freely share and analyze with you all.

I want to end this post by thanking every single one of you who reads and shares my blog. I've been getting more and more readership over the years, and it is very flattering to think that so many people have read my work. And since I haven't received any hate mail, I'm going to assume you all at least tolerate my posts.

One year with NSR, several years with you all, here. Looking forward to bigger and better things with both, and I hope 2017 is a year of productivity, prosperity, and stellar creativity for us all! 

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