Friday, 28 March 2008

Kim Mitchell: Multi-Talented

Another victim for the profile sections...

Name: Kim Mitchell

Role within Lunchsat: Portsmouth Payload Lead, Member of Portsmouth Ground Station, Systems, ADCS, Power, Thermal

Role within Astrium: Engineer in Stress and Thermal Group

Nationality: Canadian-Portuguese

Most favourite type of lunch: Free lunch ('I'm not very picky')

Least favourite type of lunch: Paid lunch :)

Hopes: 'This lovely sunny weather will last a long time.'

Fears: 'Another rainy summer.'

Why did you join Lunchsat? 'To learn something new.'

What do you hope Lunchsat will achieve? 'Launch of equipment and a working satellite.'

Friday, 7 March 2008


On Thursday, some of the Portsmouth Groundstation crew tested the radio and had a first contact with our radio amateur teacher Paul Steed.

The conversation went something like this...

Lunchsat Portsmouth: 'CQ CQ CQ M3UJO this is a radio test CQ'

Paul Steed: 'G3*** copying you loud and clear, I'm based up in Farlington.....' etc.

Both Neil and Jon called out over the radio and spoke with Paul Steed and everyone else helped out operating the radio and antennas.

Just a quick summary of where Lunchsat Portsmouth is with regards to the groundstation:

- About to start testing the rotators, requiring us to get a PC up and running with some tracking software.

- Continuing to test the radio's functionality and are planning to talk to someone further afield using a local repeater, maybe even to some of you guys in Stevenage if you are interested?

- In discussions with sites and services about where we would like to put the antennas and are in the middle of producing some documentation for them.

- The cables need to be tested and the radio sensitivity.

- Orders will be placed for the antenna mast and supporting structure.

Our Dear Leader

After much bugging and hassling, here is the first of the profiles about people working on Lunchsat. It was appropriate to go for the jugular, so here it is.

Name: Ronan Wall

Role within Lunchsat: Project Management, Power

Role within Astrium: Mission Systems Engineer in the Science group.

Nationality: 'Irish, thank God.'

Most favourite type of lunch: 'Is there anything better than a grand pub lunch on a cold winter day after walking over a few fields to get there?'

Least favourite type of lunch: 'A working lunch when all they are interested in is talking in detail about a technology area that I know little about. Grim.'

Hopes: Ireland to win the 6 nations rugby *some* day.

Fears: Ireland losing to England in any year of aforementioned tournament.

Why did you join Lunchsat? 'To get hands on experience and own part of a satellite. Ironically, I've gravitated into managing the thing so there's less chance for hands on! However, some power subsystem action is keeping me entertained...'

What do you hope Lunchsat will achieve? 'Hopefully, it will allow junior engineers to own a satellite subsystem early in their careers, that it will provide education and development for both junior and mentor engineers, and we will get a fully integrated and tested satellite that is ready to launch. Finally getting the satellite to a launch pad is the ultimate goal. Anything after that is a bonus...'