As with any technology or tool, rigorous problem definition and requirement management must be in place before conversations move to the fun part: implementation. While exciting, machine learning isn’t always necessarily the solution.
The on-orbit satellite commissioning period serves to incrementally build trust in the orbital asset, from first contact to calibration of specialized payloads. Learn how First Mode and GOM Space have been working together to reduce commissioning time through better ADCS simulation.
People, products, and technology form trust slowly and continuously over time. While V&V can sometimes feel like extra time on a project, it’s important to do it as often as necessary to avoid waiting time. Think of it like checking your map during a wilderness race - it means pausing for a moment, but you avoid moving forward in the wrong direction. There is no universal standard for how often to check your 'map' - it depends on the length of the race and how difficult the terrain is.
At First Mode, one of my responsibilities is to serve as an interface between our science-driven clients and our engineers in order to define, design, and/or develop tools that enable scientists to explore the Earth and beyond. No matter the product, our approach includes the same five steps.
When faced with harsh environments like space, undersea, and underground, human operations are often impractical. We can accomplish much more for a far lower cost by sending robots instead – but it’s no walk in the park for them, either.
Amplifying the voices of LGBTQ+ individuals in STEM isn't just about creating an inclusive environment, it's critical to ongoing breakthroughs and discoveries. At First Mode, we believe introducing more diverse perspectives and amplifying their voices to an equal platform can only accelerate new innovations across industries.
Finding opportunities to focus our time on the special skills or activities that make each of us successful usually means cutting time from something else. Automation is one way to bolster the time available to us, and in the life of an engineer, that means knowing how to code.
Often in the rush to enable new features or address a particular limitation, designers become myopic in their design approach. Simultaneously, as customers, we clamor for convenience, we ask for innovation, and we want more exclusive products and services. Unfortunately, recent history reveals how often industry – in its zeal to deliver a positive experience for its customers – loses sight of the comprehensive set of externalities.
Technology is just a tool and innovation teams should treat it as such, focusing first on a deep understanding of the root cause of the problem. By focusing on a system as a whole instead of a specific component, we’ve learned that sometimes, a simple and holistic approach provides the best results.
The space community’s collective memory of NASA’s period of low-cost space exploration focuses on the failures. In doing so, the successes and lessons learned have been lost to the sands/regoliths of time. Here’s why that’s a mistake.
Many organizations make deliberate effort to capture lessons-learned in order to improve with mixed success. In order to truly learn a lesson, we must first recognize that lessons are being taught to us all the time. We explore how lessons from Mars Spirit and Opportunity contributed to Mars Curiosity’s success.
Identifying and understanding the first mode of a system or structure is critical to any engineering effort. Once this fundamental behavior is understood, the rest of the design process can evolve in a well-ordered way. This is emblematic of our organization’s systems engineering approach.