This fall has been filled with an awful lot of travel. I just got back from my second trip to Atlanta and Rhonda has been to San Antonio, TX and Suffolk, VA. Fortunately, it has been rather uneventful with planes more or less departing and arriving on time. My trips were business related and to the same place. One of our vendors completed two sets of antennas and part of the process is going down to their facility and witnessing some performance tests. This is what we call a Production Acceptance Test.
The only downside to the whole thing is the testing is quite boring. Satellite antennas have to be pretty sensitive since the transmitter is way out in space. The way they test them is by measuring the amount of noise from a dead space (cold sky) and a major source of noise like the sun or the moon. Our vendor prefers the moon. So, they move the antenna back and forth taking measurements for hours on end and after a thorough application of math come up with these performance figure based on a ration of noise to temperature. The sky has to be clear and sometimes you end up working at night.
The good thing is they are a nice bunch of people and take good care of us while we are there. The next bunch won’t be done until sometime in February so I’ll get a bit of a break on the travel for awhile.