With an expected 1,000+ launchings of new satellites per year by 2025, opportunities have never been better for satellite engineers.
A satellite engineer is someone who may design satellite equipment and write computer programs to control a satellite remotely from Earth once it’s placed in orbit. These engineers may also be called upon to test the functionality and communication systems from the ground of satellites already in orbit. This might also include identifying areas of improvement and updating the satellite programs from the ground.
No matter where the satellite is located a satellite engineer must still be able to write software programs to keep them functioning and even to add new capabilities if required.
These specialized engineers must also be able to troubleshoot and diagnose issues with a satellite and design a method to fix the issue. They would also provide status updates on the satellite’s capabilities and status.
Many satellite engineers are hired by defense contractors and aerospace companies. Those in this career field may also have the title of aerospace satellite engineers.
Continuing education is especially critical for satellite engineers because their industry changes and adapts constantly as new ideas and technologies advance forward.
For example, while current models of how satellites are created are Earth-based, futurists predict a day is coming where small factories in space will produce satellites. Incorporating technology like 3-D printing and modular parts, assembly could move to space, changing the engineering problems and costs involved in building satellites.
Such an approach could also affect the challenges and costs at the other end of the production cycle. Right now, when satellites are no longer in use, most are carefully de-orbited to avoid cluttering space — but for decades, the first spacefaring nations didn’t stop to worry about leaving junk in orbit.
Newer satellite builders don’t have that luxury; since space junk has become such a challenge — they need a cleaner endgame.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers Satellite Communications Design and Engineering Training, a 4-day course that covers basic to advanced engineering level topics which are suitable for electrical, communications and wireless network technicians, engineers, analysts and managers including electrical engineers and technicians, communications engineers and technicians, systems engineers, and wireless network engineers and technicians and anyone else who is looking for a satellite communications design and engineering refresher course.
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