2013 - present Director, Beechleaf Consulting Limited
Providing technical advice for satellite procurement, operation, risks and regulation.
I assisted a major satellite fleet operator (End client: Iridium 2014 via consultancy for Sciemus) in presenting satellite technical information to the insurance market. Key role in interpreting risks.
Consultant to satellite underwriter (Sciemus, late 2014 to present), assessment risks with new and already orbiting communications and LEO Earth observation satellites.
Satellite and launch risk modelling (private venture 2013), development of tools for statistical analysis of satellite lifetime risk.
1993 - 2012 Principal Technical Consultant (progression from starting grade as Higher Scientific Officer), QinetiQ plc (formerly a part of the UK Ministry of Defence as the Defence Research Agency)
SKYNET 5 (2001 - 2012)
I was a systems engineer for MoD monitoring the SKYNET 5 procurement by Paradigm from Astrium. I assisted and the resolution of technical issues during build and test and recommended design and operational improvements for the later satellites based upon in-orbit experiences.
Product assurance (2009-10) I was the PA representative for ion thruster manufacture for Bepi Colombo and on other smaller programmes. I managed the sign-off of manufacturing processes. I also established ECSS compliant processes within QinetiQ for managing non-conformance and change control and implemented the processes, running NRBs and CCBs during parts procurement and development testing.
SKYNET 4D - 4F (1994-2001) I was a subsystem engineer to UK MoD with specialist responsibility for thermal and propulsion issues from design through AIT to launch.
I led independent, customer-side, thermal modelling and analysis of whole spacecraft, correlating with ground test and in-orbit results. I also monitored the prime contractor’s solar simulation tests, thermal correlation and flight predictions.
I provided approval to MoD of unit and system level design, AIT, test and delivery reviews and NRBs and system environmental testing for mechanical and electrical issues.
SKYNET 5 (1993-1994) Technical consultant to UK MoD for an inter-government feasibility study. Analysis of spacecraft fleet availability and assessments of electric propulsion and bi-propellant options for partial orbit transfer and station acquisition.
Through life: SKYNET 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E, 4F/ NATO IVA and IVB (1990 - 2012)
I managed the QinetiQ contract with the MoD owner / operator on technical advice for the operation of a fleet of 7 satellites (2001 – 2003, previously 1990 – 2001: engineer and senior engineer).
I addressed all aspects of operations including procedure sign-off, launch campaign, anomaly resolution and trend analysis of mechanical and electrical subsystems on platform and payload. Also addressed satellite emergency recovery, manoeuvre planning, orbit determination, graveyard campaigns and on-board propellant determination, orbital co-location planning.
- I had a key role in management of satellite criticalities.
- I helped the MoD understand and respond to electro-static discharge events.
- When Paradigm (the PFI operator) took over fleet management activities from UK MoD I provided technical monitoring of Paradigm’s stewardship, considering their anomaly resolution decisions in terms of their value to MoD.
- I led planning for a major NSSK manoeuvre for an otherwise normal free-drift mission.
- I provided real-time orbital conjunction analysis, and made recommendations for modifying EWSK and eccentricity control and established lines of communications for collision avoidance between MoD and another satellite operator.
LEOP: SKYNET 4D, 4E and 4F (1997-2001): I was a systems engineer for UK MoD covering all subsystems, with specific real-time advice responsibilities for Thermal, TT&C, Power and Propulsion. I supported initial acquisition, AMF, sun acquisition and array deployment on console. I had a review and sign-off role for nominal and emergency spacecraft operating procedures.
ESA studies and bids:
Technical lead for Space Situational Awareness (2007) study for ESA HQ on orbit tracking, determination and object identification. I was the technical lead on the bid and project developing requirements, leading trade studies and managing all subcontractor deliverables.
Technical lead for Robotic Geostationary Orbit Restorer (2002 - 2003) study for ESTEC. Managed an international team for robotic spacecraft servicing design and market study
I had a systems role in the Don Quijote (2005 - 2006) study for ESTEC onterminal guidance for the interplanetary asteroid impact mission the electric propulsion trade-off
Satellite subsystem design and test:
Beagle 2 (Mars landing probe) Thermal analysis of TTC transponder.
Thermal testing of material properties (1995-6)
Insurance consultancy (2003 - 2012)
Insurance placement (2006-2012):
I was the technical lead for satellite underwriters assessing dozens of satellites each year for both launch and in-orbit renewal policies addressing major commercial geostationary and LEO satellite busses and a wide variety of types of communications and Earth observation payload.
I reviewed the causes of many recent major technical problems on geostationary satellites and instigated a methodology for meaningful risk assessments of both new and aged satellites, raising appropriate questions to the to-be-insured party.
I led the engineering support to the improvement in design of statistical risk evaluation models for satellites and launch vehicles.
End Clients: Sciemus (and their clients Liberty, RLI, AIG, Montpelier etc.)
Claims supporting insurers and law firms (2003-2005):
I managed major anomaly investigations on the Galaxy XI, Panamsat 1R, Thuraya D1, and Atlantic Bird 1 spacecraft assessing root cause and prognosis, co-ordinating a multidisciplinary effort to assess claim information and responses to insurer’s questions. I also supported smaller issues and claims relating to the Eurostar 3000, HS601, Star 2 and A2100 satellite platforms.
End Clients: Munich Re., Global Aerospace Underwriting, Hiscox, La Reunion Spatiale and the law firms Pino Law and Gide Loyrette Nouel.
Regulation (2005 - 2010, 2013):
I advised UK Space Agency / BNSC (British National Space Centre) in respect of Outer Space Treaty and Outer Space Act. I advocated a more rational and cost effective approach to the management of technical risks in the award of satellite launch and operating licences.
1990 - 1992 Graduate engineer
British Aerospace (Space Systems) Ltd (now a part of EADS Astrium)
Propulsion design engineer providing design, AIT and post launch support to major programmes.
Design support to SKYNET 4D-F, CLUSTER, ORION.
TELECOM 2B propulsion testing, cleanliness and safety checking
Post launch support to Skynet 4B and NATO VI A, in-orbit anomalies.
OLYMPUS Recovery I supported propellant determination, analysis of sloshing, freezing, thawing and also propulsion ground testing, in-orbit operations approval and monitoring of recovery operations.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
1989 1990 MSc in Astronautics & Space Engineering, Cranfield Institute of Technology, UK
1986 - 1989 BSc (Hons) 2(i) in Physics and Electronics, University of Keele, UK
Mother tongue(s) English
Other language(s) French (level in Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is listening: B1, speaking: B2)
Good. Skills acquired in coaching, sales and representing client's interests with third parties.
Organisational / managerial skills
Management of small, reactive, technical investigation teams of up to 12 staff.
Experience obtained in resolving satellite anomalies for owners, insurers and law firms.
Satellite lifetime assessment.
Propellant determination. Thermal analysis.
Product assurance - management of manufacture and test anomalies.
I am familiar with processing of Technical Assistance Agreements and Technology Control Plans for management of ITAR data.
I have worked with barristers on satellite technical matters and have a reasonable understanding of the issues involved in corporate dispute resolution.
Computer skills MS Office / Java / Fortran / VB
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