Alex Chang: Internship with SED Systems and CSA Satellite control in Saint-Hubert Quebec

Alex Chang is an ISM CREATE Master’s student at the Unversity of Saskatchewan. He was hired as an intern with SED Systems to join the team tracking the Radarsat Constellation Mission(RCM) less than a month after it’s launch.

The Canadian Space Agency facilities at Saint-Hubert Quebec are the headquarters of Satellite control in Canada. Alex drove to Saint-Hubert from Saskatoon in early July 2019 and started RCM SCT training in order to acquire the skills and knowledge required to execute the mission tasks including:

1.       Routine control and operation of the RCM satellites.
·         Pre-pass configuration
·         Pass (TTCS equipment operations, table uploads, telemetry verification, on-orbit telemetry and science data dumps, etc)
·         Equipment deconfiguration and event logging

2.       Verification for unexpected RCM satellite state and limit violations.
·         Real-time contacts
·         On-orbit stored telemetry data

3.       Review of RCM routine and contingency operational products.

The team at Saint-Hubert were very impressed with Alex ability and willingness to aid the team:

Alex was well appreciated and respected by his colleagues and was always available to support shift schedule requirements. Despite the fact that he had very limited operational experience, he performed extremely well.

Integrating three new satellites into our multi-mission operation was a complex activity that created a significant increase to our workload. Since launch was scheduled in June, it also introduced additional constraints related to the summer vacation plans. Having an internship allowed us to reduce the impact of the increased workload on the vacation schedules.

When conducting recruitment campaigns, candidates are usually surprised to know that technicians and engineers are conducting satellite control activities from the Canadian Space Agency at Saint-Hubert. They are also surprised to know that they could join this team even if they are not working as a federal public servant. Having an internship provided us the opportunity to increase our visibility and might help us in future recruitment campaigns.

Desjardins, Stéphane JDS (ASC/CSA)

Alex enjoyed the internship at Saint-Hubert and interviewed a number of his colleagues in order to share the various roles involved and career opportunities in satallite operations in Canada. You can find Alex’s interviews here.

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