In this episode, Nick and Brendan chat with Sarah McKenzie-Picot, Space Systems Designer & Assembly, Integration & Test Lead, and Diane Burchett, the Vice-President, Engineering at Kepler Communications Inc. The company was founded in 2015 by two University of Toronto graduate students. Today, the company works out of a building that was once used to make clothing. Now, it’s used to make satellites.
Kepler’s satellites communicate with the Earth (and each other) using an array, or ‘constellation,’ of satellites (19 currently). Since one satellite in the constellation will always be in the range of a ground station, it allows for continuous, real-time communication and monitoring of the satellite network. To do this effectively, Kepler has had to build satellites that can transmit more data faster and more reliably than ever before. (Some of it involves lasers!)
Not unlike other companies working in advanced manufacturing sectors (like medical manufacturing), Kepler has successfully attracted a diverse range of young people to their ranks. Diane credits much of their success to their location in downtown Toronto, proximity to the University of Toronto, and the (out of this world) nature of the work they do (the things they make will go into space).
Thanks to companies like Kepler, you’ll soon be able to enjoy this podcast from orbit. Have a listen.