SWE member Fiona Redmond is a Satellite Engineer – find out how she got there, the type of projects she’s working on, and how you can #BeThatEngineer!
By Fiona Redmond
I completed my bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at the University of Maryland in 2013 (Go Terps!), and am currently working on a master’s degree in electrical engineering at Johns Hopkins University in the Engineering for Professionals program. I also work as a satellite engineer for Hughes Network Systems. We are a satellite internet provider with coverage in the US, Canada, and parts of South America. We also work with partners across the globe to bring communications capabilities to remote areas. It’s truly amazing what satellites can do for us!
A major part of my job involves what we call capacity planning. This means I analyze our performance and traffic demand and then determine where we should allocate more bandwidth. This way we can ensure the best performance for our customers.
We also analyze the satellite telemetry data – the measurements taken onboard the satellites (sometimes called “birds”). For example, we can track its location, the power levels on the antennas, data transmission, and other parameters. This allows us to ensure proper operation of the Satellite. One of the coolest things I’ve experienced is participating in the launch and testing of our third and newest satellite, Echostar 19/Jupiter 2. I traveled to California and worked with the satellite manufacturer while they brought the satellite into its orbital position and ran tests to determine the normal operating conditions.