CV: Satellite Communications Systems Engineer



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Contact information
Candidate Profile
 Date Submitted:28-03-2012
 Last Modified:28-03-2012 (02:00)
Job information
 Current job:Satellite Communications Systems Engineer
 Employment Term:Either
 Job location:Own country
 Date available:immediately
 Industry:Consulting/Engineering Services
 Keywordsground segment design and testing, link design, integration and testng, link budget, project engineering, troubleshooting, project management

PERSONAL:       Citizenship:     Canadian

Languages:      English


EDUCATION:    Universityof Waterloo, Bachelor of Applied Science, Electrical Engineering with option in Management Science


SECURITY:        Secret Level II and Enhanced Reliability; CGD and ITAR approvable





Simon B., P.Eng. has over twenty-seven years of experience in the system design, testing and evaluation, and project engineering of fixed and mobile systems and networks.  He has worked as a project manager, lead transmission systems engineer, ground segment systems engineer, and business development engineer.  He has built a successful career as satellite communications systems engineer, providing companies with a resource having systems design experience and capability across a wide array of satellite communications projects, for legacy or advanced communication uses.


Mr. B.’s portfolio of expertise includes:


  • Satellite end-to-end communications system design for fixed and mobile satellites.
  • Satellite link budgets design and analysis for video, audio and data services.
  • User terminal specification development, testing and troubleshooting.
  • End-to-end satellite communication testing, evaluation, and trouble-shooting
  • Small satellite antenna system performance testing and evaluation.
  • Project management and project engineering.
  • RFP, RFQ and RFI preparation and evaluation.
  • R&D via theoretical studies, and laboratory and field testing as required.
  • General functional understanding of DVB-S, DVB-S2, DVB-RCS, IP, VoIP, ATM technology standards
  • Customer systems engineering.
  • Customer acceptance testing.
  • Supervisory experience.
  • Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, Project, and Visio



March 2009 to October 2011

LightSquared Corporation (formerly SkyTerra Communications)

Independent Consultant


Mr. B. was employed by LightSquared Corporation as an independent consultant.  Over his tenure, he worked on the following projects:


·         Narrow-band 4800 QPSK Testing for troubleshooting, validation, and test design for legacy MSAT-2 and Next Generation SkyTerra-1 Satellite

o       Development of a test network and test plan to investigate a long-standing performance issue on MSAT-2, with ramifications for comparative testing via the next generation satellite SkyTerra-1

§         Successfully identified via troubleshooting that rapid amplitude and phase shift were the root causes that led to very poor bit error rate performance even at very high carrier-to-noise ratios

§         This work (i.e., conclusion and test network design) helped to identify a limitation in how the emulation beam was implemented on SkyTerra-1 and, subsequently, corrected before it was put into service.

o       The basis of this work was used to implement an upgrade to nine carrier monitoring sites in the MSAT/SkyTerra network.

·         Validation Test Plan Development and Test Campaign Execution

o       Developed an extensive multi-month test plan to characterize and record MSAT-2 vs. SkyTerra-1 satellites performance

o       Over that period

§         Executed power, noise, and frequency variation testing for both satellites

§         Executed data performance testing using automated test set and programming features for both satellites

§         Completed a report that would be used as a permanent record of comparison and as historical data of the performance at the commencement of the operating life of SkyTerra-1.

·         Project Engineer for Customer Service Transferfrom MSAT-2 to SkyTerra-1

o       Scheduling using Microsoft project planning with respect to SkyBitz, OmniSTAR, and XATA customers having services over LightSquared mobile satellite.

o       Customer meetings and coordination of installation, testing and implementation activities; action item implementation; test plan documentation

o       Spectrum testing and frequency optimization test support

·         Satellite Carrier Monitoring Site (SCMS)Transmit upgrade and deployment

o       Narrow-band QPSK modem sourcing, testing and validation

o       Worked with subcontractor to manufacture an upgraded unit to facilitate simultaneous transmission and reception between eight remotes locations across North America and the LightSquared Gateway.

·         Voice Quality Testing-- evaluation of 4 kHz voice quality over mobile satellite using Perceptual Evaluation Speech Quality (PESQ) analyses.

o       Development of a sample test network comprising 4 nodes, and implemented automated data collection and voice quality analyses incorporating test scripts developed by the system integrator of the test platform, GL Communication Inc.

o       Automated voice quality

§         Completed a comparison of performance of the 4 kHz voice channel over MSAT and new satellite SkyTerra-1

·         Mobile Data Testing

o       Sourcing and testing of a platform to interface with existing LightSquared integrated data test network to validate data performance

o       Evaluation of the operational function of a software tool:  T-BERT, a packet and -based software to do automatic modem dialing and serial data performance analysis.

§         Worked with manufacturer to optimize software for LightSquared network.

·         Next Generation Satellite Support

o       Ground Segment for “emulation” coverage

§         Analog Beam Converter Emulation (ABCE), participated in factory acceptance and on-site over-the-air acceptance testing

§         Developed and executed a test plan to validate and record data performance via the ground segment.

o       Next Generation Satellite --- emulation beam and spot beams

§         Commenced investigation to support LightSquared 3G implementation and testing over SkyTerra-1 satellite (i.e., Evolution, Data Only – EVDO), which will be integrated with the 4G terrestrial network.


September to October, 2009

Industry Canada

Independent Consultant


Mr. B. led a small group of experts to deliver a study report on the “Assessment of options for access to additional capacity for the provision of DTH services in Canada”, in response to Industry Canada’s request for consultation of the possible use of the Extended-Ku spectrum for DTH satellite broadcasting services.  Specifically addressing the following statement of work with regards to the two options:

·         The impact on customer premise equipment (CPE).

·         Provision of cost estimates related to new/additional customer premise equipment.

·         The impact on the number of subscribers that could be affected andpotential levels of disruption for subscribers.

·         The impact on consumer quality of service.

·         Analysis and critique of satellite system design (link budget parameters, receive antenna size, satellite power requirements) of an extended-Ku satellite versus Ka (18 GHz) satellite link to provide DTH services; including general comments on the impact on satellite complexity, size and mass of the spacecraft for the two bands.

March 1999 to November 2008

Telesat Canada

Independent Consultant


Mr. B. has been employed at Telesat Canada as an independent consultant over the period March 1999 to November 2008.  Over that time, he worked on the following projects:


Astrium-ESA DVB-S2 Experiment Interactive

Project Engineering Specialist in support of the development of DVB-S2 Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM) forward link implementation for interactive services; using Advantech AMT DVB-RCS technology.  Tasks included Ka-band link budget analyses, development of a comprehensive test plan for the Interactive network encompassing laboratory and field testing phases, planned test campaign, and planned test report completion.


Telesat-CSA DVB-S2 Satellite Technology Development Project (STDP)

Project Engineering Specialist in support of the implementation of DVB-S2 technology over the DVB-RCS Ka-band satellite.  Tasks included developing revised link budgets for the new technology, development of test plans for satellite network testing, testing the technology over-the-air and at intermediate frequencies in the laboratory, and supervision of junior engineer, technologist and technicians.  The resulting output was a technical report summarizing the results.


Telesat-CSA DVB-RCS Enhanced Test Bed Development

Project Engineering Specialist in support of DVB-S2 enhancements implemented to the return link system, in preparation for a future service deployment of a DVB-RCS network.  Tasks included development of test plans to exercise the physical and application layers of the deployed technology, Ka-band link budgets.  The resulting outputs were technical reports of the design configuration and network characterisation test results.


Telesat-CSA DVB-RCS Development and Northern Demonstration

Project Engineering Specialist in support of the implementation of a DVB-RCS network, with Gateway/Hub in Vancouver, B.C.  The network utilised the Government of Canada space segment allotment in four northern Ka-band beams on Anik F2, and used the Advantech Satnet DVB-S return link technology.  The implementation included satellite testing, system optimisation and trouble-shooting, as well as application demonstration to four remote sites in British Columbia, Yukon, and Nunavut.  Tasks included working with a multi-corporation, multi-discipline project team, link budget calculation for various small terminal scenarios, and supervising/directing field technician and installers.


Anik F3 Geo-Cluster Advanced Technology Communication System

Ground Segment Engineering Specialist responsible for the study, investigation, design layout, and functional performance specifications of a future Ka-band ground segment required for a geostationary cluster satellite network.  Tasks completed included a critique of satellite air interface standards such as DOCSIS, DVB-RCS, and Internet Protocol (IP) over Satellite.  As well, the impact of new technology such as IP, MPEG-4/10 (H.264) video compression, and DVB-S2 satellite transmission standards (including new coding techniques such as Turbo Coding and Low Data Parity Check (LDPC) Coding); and a functional definition of the future ground network.


Ka-band Satellite Link Analysis

Satellite Link budget analyses of respondents' systems to the Telesat Ground Station RFP for operation with the future Anik F2 Ka-band payload.  Technologies were based on the proprietary designs using the DVB-RCS and DOCSIS over satellite standards.  Forward and return link characterisation and efficiency calculations.  Rain attenuation analysis to predict Ka-band uplink and downlink fading.  Fade mitigation techniques such as variable symbol rate and site diversity.


Telesat-IndustryCanada--Canadian Space Agency NIMIQ-2 Ka-band Trial Network Design

Network design and satellite transmission system specification of a multimedia network for implementation over the Telesat NIMIQ-2 Ka-band experimental payload.  Tasks included Ka-band link calculation for NIMIQ-2, network design configuration, and compiling information on Ka-band manufacturers.


Ku-band Telecommuting and SchoolNet Multimedia Trial

Project engineer responsible for the integration and testing of a Ku-band multimedia trial using MF-TDMA/TDM QPSK modulated systems. Activities included transmission link budget development; performance testing and optimisation of the Hub and the Ku-band satellite user terminal.


Ku-band Multimedia Network Development and Trials

Project engineer responsible for the integration and testing of the RF portion of the DVB-RCS Hub and the MF-TDMA DVB-RCS User Terminal in the Canadian Space Agency-Telesat Advanced Satellite Communication multimedia project.  Activities included transmission link budget development; performance testing and optimisation of the Hub and the Ku-band satellite user terminal comprising Indoor Unit (IDU) and the Outdoor Unit (ODU).  Conducted technology trials with the integrated network; e.g., ODU configuration testing with various SSPA’s and multi-carrier frequency assignment tests to investigate the impact of intermodulation on performance.


Ka-band System Design Requirements

Documented the initial Anik F2 system design requirements,focussingon the network architecture and end-to-end functional and performance requirements of the Anik F2 Ka-band multimedia system.  The document describes the general functionality of the multimedia system, which utilised Multi-Frequency Time Division Multiple Access (MF-TDMA) technology, beam connectivity and on-board processing on the satellite.  It includes connectivity requirements for the Star (bent pipe) and Mesh On-Board Processor (OBP), frequency re-use plans, uplink and downlink budgets, and availability models.


Ka-band Future User Terminal Study

Conducted an engineering study in the development of Ka-band User Terminals for future multimedia satellite services.  Issued a report with appropriate conclusions and recommendations applicable to the planned Telesat Ka-band Anik F2 Ka-band multimedia.  Highlights included standards development; technology trends such as MF-TDMA access techniques; user terminal issues such as costs, types of interface, and installation; and manufacturing trends such as component sizing and material selection.


Ka-band Ground Station Requirements for Multimedia Network

Developed a Ka-band Ground Segment Requirement Specifications document that defines key functional and design requirements of a STAR Gateway, MESH Hub and User Terminal.


Anik F2 Ground Station Request for Proposal

Participated as a team member in the development of the RFP for the future Anik F2 Ka-band multimedia network, looking at new technology to deliver data and Internet services to small user terminals.  Areas of responsibility included user terminal specifications and return link subsystem definition.


Satellite System Technical Documentation

Revised major operational documents for the ARABSAT satellite corporation.  Developed a technical document incorporating existing and new services such as VSAT-DAMA network and Digital Video Compression.



Macdonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA)

Independent Consultant


Mr. B. was employed by MDA as an independent consultant over a two year period.  Over that time, he worked as a Ground Segment system-engineering specialist on the CASCADE Demonstrator and Ionospheric Polar Explorer (CASSIOPE) project.  Mr. B. accomplished the following.


·         Supported the CASCADE ground segment design, in particular providing input to the architectural design and system specifications that would facilitate implementation and testing of the ground segment, and what would be an effective approach for automatic test and measurement.

·         Supported the effort in preparing the Integrated Logistic plan for the Ground Station.

·         Completed a Safety and Hazard study and radiation analysis technical note, addressing the regulatory and design restrictions for the safe operation of the Ka-band ground terminal by operators and necessary public or non-operator restrictions.

·         Completed a document addressing site survey analysis and installation cost for the ground terminal.

·         Completed a technical study on the status of Ka-band ground segment technology to 2006, including identification of technology drivers influencing ground segment advancements and beneficial impact of these developments on future Ka-band services.

TMI Communications (LightSquared)



TMI Communications (Canada’s mobile satellite operator, now called MSV) employed Mr. B. as a consultant.  His responsibilities included project management of the Mobile Differential Global Positioning System Implementation project, program management of the Mobile Facsimile System Implementation project, and project and implementation engineering of an FSK paging system via mobile satellite.


Local Differential GPS System via Mobile Satellite

Project Manager


Project Manager mid-way through the program to ensure the completion of the implementation of a Local Differential Global Positioning System (LDGPS) via mobile satellite.  Project managed software engineering, system implementation, system testing, and network operation functions applicable to the project.  Technical liaison with manufacturer; coordinated and supported the testing and evaluation the digital FSK receiver; witnessed and accepted hardware and firmware tests of the receiver; confirmed the DGPS common air interface and output specifications to GPS receivers; and participated in field tests.  Co-authored a technical paper for presentation to 1998 IONS conference, dealing with the technical issues surrounding the implementation and evaluation of a Differential GPS network.


Antenna for Differential GPS Application

Project Manager

Prepared the Statement of Work, compiled design requirement and interface control documents.  Liaise with customer and provided status update; technical liaison with manufacturer; and witnessed and accepted the antenna and coordinated customer acceptance tests.


Facsimile System via Mobile Satellite

Project Manager

Program Manager towards the end of the program to ensure completion of the implementation of a facsimile system via TMI MSAT-1 satellite.  Prepared the Statement of Work, modified functional design documents and prepared an interface control document.  Administer schedule and coordinated work tasks among team members.   Worked with the existing team to ensure completion of the project; technical liaison with manufacturer; and witnessed and accepted hardware and firmware tests of the facsimile interface unit.


Vistar Communications, Ottawa, Ontario

Satellite – Terrestrial Integration Study

Engineering study of the integration of satellite and terrestrial telecommunications systems for the delivery of broadband digital services, utilising ATM transport and SONET architecture.  Recommended a technically feasible transition scenario to achieve the optimum satellite-terrestrial interface for data, telephony and digital video.


Telexis Corporation, Ottawa, Ontario

Word Space Digital Audio Broadcast System

Compiled and organized the functional system specifications for the processed Feeder-Link uplink station for the World Space satellite digital audio broadcast system.  The transmission technology included FDMA and QPSK modulation with concatenated convolution-Reed Solomon error correction.


Noram Inc. Ottawa, Ontario

Wide Area Network Telephone Plan

Project Management support for the implementation of a North American wide area telecommunication network incorporating a 4-digit dial plan for four branch offices of a company.


TV/COM Incorporated, San Diego, California

QPSK Modem Testing

Testing of a variable rate QPSK Modem with concatenated forward error correction for satellite communication.


Microtel Pacific Research

Digital Video Compression Specification Development

Development of a technical specification for the implementation of a direct-to-home television service in Brazil.


Telesat Canada

Various roles

From May 1985 to Nov. 1994, Mr. B. was employed by Telesat Canada where he rapidly progressed from a junior engineer to become a senior system engineer, with specialty in satellite systems design, specification and testing.  As a member of the Communications Systems Engineering Division, he was involved in the following activities:


  • Conducted systems tests and engineering studies in satellite RF communications in the 4 GHz/6 GHz and 12/14 GHz frequency bands. 
  • Research and development activities for new transmission schemes over satellite.  Investigated and made recommendations on new technological applications using satellites, e.g., digital audio via single channel per carrier (SCPC) transmission, companded audio subcarrier, PSK and FSK data transmissions, and video scrambling.
  • Tested and implemented video, audio and data systems for customers.  Utilised existing and new test equipment as required; e.g., new audio and video test equipment and network monitoring tools.
  • Developed transmission link budgets for video, audio, and data services, and test and maintenance procedures for customer systems engineers and technicians.  Interfaced with customer systems engineering to develop innovative transmission system designs solutions, based on customer requirements and performance objectives.  Satellite broadcast customers included CBC, CTV, Global, and Cancom.
  • Attained proficiency in the use of laboratory and satellite equipment such as Spectrum Analysers, Video and audio measuring equipment, and High Power Amplifiers.
  • Participated in satellite engineering standard committees, e.g., ITU/R working groups.  Provided domestic and international consulting on satellite communication system design.
  • Trained junior engineers in the use of laboratory test equipment, and on satellite transmission link design calculations and analysis.


In Telesat’s Digital Video Compression Development (DVC) Division, Mr. B. was an active contributor to the technical team that planned and developed Telesat digital video transmission systems for broadcasters, DTH and Cable head-end; and in the preparation of the RFP's and evaluation of the responses.  He participated in the planning activities to develop strategies for the effective roll-out of DVC services and new or enhanced digital entertainment services.  He completed digital transmission studies on the optimum concatenated Reed Solomon - Convolution forward error correction (FEC) for satellite DVC systems and tested QPSK Modems for performance characterization.


He completed link modelling for DTH and cable transmission as input to ABSOC for the standardization of DVC transmission for Canada, tested and evaluated small antennas (0.35 m to 0.90 m) to prove their feasibility in receiving DVC signals, and completed a system design analysis of a joint US DBS - Anik E DTH service proposed by Power DirecTv for Canada via a dual-band antenna and proved its feasibility.


In addition, Mr. B. recommended a terrestrial local loop network design to deliver multi-channel uncompressed digital video signals via fibre for a major Canadian broadcast customer and completed laboratory tests over fibre to verify video performance.


As a member of the Technology Development Group, Mr. B.’s responsibilities included:


·         Co-authoring a 1992 CCTA technical paper, which first espoused the concept of a Canadian DTH service via FSS satellites that would be equivalent to other DBS service using BSS satellites.

·         Tested and evaluated new technology utilizing satellite transmission, e.g., the COMSAT analog Compressed video, Compression Lab Spectrum Saver DVC Codec, DS3 Modem and DS3 Codec, and Comstream digital audio Codec.

·         Provided support to the High Definition Television (HDTV) program, and remained abreast of the U.S. program to implement a HDTV standard.  Developed subjective video test tape materials to provide an effective way to view digital video compression artifacts, and studied ways how objective tests could be developed.


In Telesat’s Broadcast Engineering Division, Mr. B. provided the following:


·         Technical support to Sales and Marketing departments in defining the video, audio and data communications service requirements for new and existing customers.  Provided technical responses to RFP's and generated performance of specifications.

·         Proactive support of Project Engineers and Implementation Engineers in installing, implementing, and maintaining or trouble-shooting existing and new broadcast communication links.  Hands on hardware testing and implementation, and practical and theoretical studies were done as required to support the tasks.

·         Satellite systems engineering expertise in the study and development of customer television and digital applications.


As a member of the Satellite Planning & Development Division, Mr. B. contributed to the Anik E/F business plan, prepared traffic planning for future Anik E/F satellites and conducted marketing surveys of satellite users for the Anik E/F business plan as well as for the Mobile Satellite (MSAT) Post Launch Communications Project.




·         Academic Courses (University of Ottawa):  Satellite Communications, Digital communications, and Transmissions Media.

·         Non-technical courses, e.g., Finance for non-financial manager, PMP exam preparation course

·         Computer Applications:  Microsoft office (word, power point, excel), Visio, and Microsoft Project.




·         Co-author of Satellite Local Differential GPS Network: System and Operational Parameters for End User Optimisation, IONS 1998 Conference.  The first North American mobile satellite-based Local Differential Global Positioning System.

·         Co-author of “Death Star Threat:  Real or Imagined?” CCTA 1992.  The first proposal in Canada showing the feasibility of satellite direct-to-home television services via Telesat Anik E Ku-band satellites.

·         Proprietary report: Ka-band User Terminal Study.  A technical study looking at the design of Ka-band user terminals for multimedia services, using prevailing standards such as DVB-RCS.

·         Proprietary report:  Satellite- Terrestrial Integration.  Technical study looking at the interfacing of terrestrial and satellite transmissions systems to deliver broadband digital services, utilising Asynchronous and SONET technologies.

·         Proprietary report: Satellite Air Interface Standards.  A comparison of the DVB-RCS, Satellite-DOCSIS, and IP-over-satellite air interface standards for interactive satellite broadband multimedia via Return Channel over Satellite Terminals (RCSTs).

·         Proprietary report: Ground Segment Design for Geostationary Satellite Cluster Advanced Network.  A design layout and functional specification of the ground segment, taking into consideration the impact of new technology such as Internet Protocol (IP), HDTV, and MPEG-2/part 10 video encoding standards.

·         Proprietary report: An Assessment and Critique of Options for Additional Capacity for the Provision of Direct-to-Home in Canadian

·         Proprietary reports:  Several projects at LightSquared Corporation

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