As CNES Systems Manager, I work with the team in charge of the development and validation of the French contribution to the overall Calipso system. The challenge for this team is not only to make sure that ground and satellite segments are in place on the French side, but also that they are designed and perfectly sized to be operated once assembled with their American counterpart components.
What attracted you to the Calipso Mission?
Image left: Shown here is Patrick Castillan, the CNES systems manager for CALIPSO.
From a technical point of view, making things happen to fly a lidar on a satellite and gathering scientific data are already very good reasons to join the team. On the other hand, the number of people involved in the project offers a unique opportunity to collectively meet this challenge. Last but not least, the international environment of the mission is technically and culturally a mutual benefit.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part is probably the toughest: trying to make very different people, who have sometimes contradictory interests, work together towards a common objective. Keep in mind that you may have for a single meeting in the same room CNES or NASA agencies, industrial partners, Americans, French, launcher or ground or satellite representatives, scientists… and, on top of that, most of them are engineers. A bit challenging, but how exciting it is!
Tell us more about you.
When I am off, most of my time is spent with my family and my friends. And most often, this time is based on long lunches/dinners with very good food and fine wine.
Although I learned a lot from my American friends, I still have very French hobbies.