Aakash Patel

Aerospace Engineer

Employee Spotlight

What is your background and how did you end up in your current job?

My background is in Aerospace Engineering. I graduated from the University of Maryland in May 2016, and had been applying and looking for jobs in the field. I came across Relative Dynamics and they said that there was a potential job opening as a member of the Flight Operations Team for the EOS missions. They set up a interview for me and now I am here flying a satellite as my job.

What opportunities do you think this role prepares you for in the future?

My role currently can prepare me for a variety of jobs in the future. Then next step after being a operator is normally to become a subsystem engineer, and to dive deeper into a specific component of satellite operations. Another cool thing this job gives you is insight into how a satellite actually works, in terms of human interactions, which can be extremely beneficial as a design engineer. You have the experience of operating a satellite so, in the future if you ever get into satellite design or integration, you will know some of the impact/implications the design decisions will have on a person who is then operating the satellite.

What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

On a daily basis my job is to operate the satellite TERRA. I have to monitor the health and safety of the satellite to make sure all operations are going smoothly. I am also responsible for making sure that all the scientific data the spacecraft records get collected on the ground correctly. In the most simple terms, everyday at work, I get to fly a satellite that is 700 km above the earths surface, which is pretty cool.

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