Controlling satellites from Rio Cuarto. The complex mission that may be considered absurd is a reality when you go into Ascentio Technologies headquarters. The company, which from the west side of the city, keeps contact with the NASA and the CONAE.
This week, the firm took a step further by opening its new headquarters on 400 Nolasco Rodriguez Street where its brand-new building stands out by a peculiar architecture and the white color that dominates all spaces.
The team of young professionals, all graduates from public universities and many of them from the University of Rio Cuarto, design, develop and operate complex systems.
‘A few years ago, when we started, we dreamed something big and we have been taking small steps to achieve it. New objectives have been set and new challenges have been taken on’, Esteban Carranza, one of the company’s partners, explained.
‘We are a technologically-based company focused on the design, development and operation of high-complexity and high-availability systems. We focus on the development of the ground segment systems for satellite missions. We work with CONAE and one of the most important achievements the company has had was the full development of ground systems that allows for operating, controlling and managing satellite information about the Earth.
Yesterday, Ascentio’s employees from Cordoba travelled to Rio Cuarto to make the move from the office on 9 de Julio Street to the new headquarters on Nolasco Rodriguez street . There were around 90 young professionals who arrived from Cordoba and Falda del Carmen. Regarding the tasks they carried out inside the building, Carranza pointed out that ‘our work is somehow strange. We have a lot of people working and we do it remotely with people who are not physically present in Cordoba or in Falda del Carmen so this requires technology to make videoconferences or other type of remote communication possible. It was necessary to design a proper environment for this’, Carranza explained.
‘In the production field we have three areas: software development, project engineering and operations. Excepting operations which is run at the space center in Falda del Carmen, the other two areas are distributed between Rio Cuarto and Cordoba which forces us to maintain an effective relationship’, Carranza said and he added ‘there are 94 people total working at Ascentio and all of them are graduates from public universities’. The majority are graduates from the University of Rio Cuarto, not only from the Faculty of Engineering but also from the Faculty of Exact Sciences in the case of the computer specialists.
We must highlight that our graduates are fully equipped and at the same level as any other professional from another part of the world.
Concerning the number of companies from this area in the country, Carranza pointed out that ‘there are not many. A year ago, the few companies which are working in this field of science were summoned and there were six or seven at that time’.
They want to operate drones by observing the swarm behavior.
‘We have an R+D area in the company where we are focusing our research on drones. We are looking for transferring the experience of other areas to this one.
We are specifically working in developing a drone flight control center. Drone flights with different applications. We hope to have results by the end of the year’, Carranza said. ‘These devices are energy-consuming and it is not easy to load the batteries because of their weight, so the capabilities are limited. The plan is to have more than one flight in operation, with the possibility that their functions can replaced in order to maintain a service or an application despite the drone breaks or the battery runs out. That’s the idea of a drone swarm to us. We want to develop a control center that can mimic nature by means of artificial intelligence.’