Category Archives: Satellites

How to Promote Your ATI Course in Social Media

How to Promote Your ATI Course in Social Media

LinkedIn for ATI Rocket Scientists


Did you know that for 52% of professionals and executives, their LinkedIn profile is the #1 or #2 search result when someone searches on their name?

For ATI instructors, that number is substantially lower – just 17%. One reason is that about 25% of ATI instructors do not have a LinkedIn profile. Others have done so little with their profile that it isn’t included in the first page of search results.

If you are not using your LinkedIn profile, you are missing a huge opportunity. When people google you, your LinkedIn profile is likely the first place they go to learn about you. You have little control over what other information might be available on the web about you. But you have complete control over your LinkedIn profile. You can use your profile to tell your story – to give people the exact information you want them to have about your expertise and accomplishments.


Why not take advantage of that to promote your company, your services, and your course?

Here are some simple ways to promote your course using LinkedIn…

On Your LinkedIn Profile

Let’s start by talking about how to include your course on your LinkedIn profile so it is visible anytime someone googles you or visits your profile.

1. Add your role as an instructor.

Let people know that this course is one of the ways you share your knowledge. You can include your role as an instructor in several places on your profile:

  • Experience – This is the equivalent of listing your role as a current job. (You can have more than one current job.) Use Applied Technology Institute as the employer. Make sure you drag and drop this role below your full-time position.
  • Summary – Your summary is like a cover letter for your profile – use it to give people an overview of who you are and what you do. You can mention the type of training you do, along with the name of your course.
  • Projects – The Projects section gives you an excellent way to share the course without giving it the same status as a full-time job.
  • Headline – Your Headline comes directly below your name, at the top of your profile. You could add “ATI Instructor” at the end of your current Headline.

Start with an introduction, such as “I teach an intensive course through the Applied Technology Institute on [course title]” and copy/paste the description from your course materials or the ATI website. You can add a link to the course description on the ATI website.

This example from Tom Logsdon’s profile, shows how you might phrase it:


Here are some other examples of instructors who include information about their courses on their LinkedIn profile:

  • Buddy Wellborn – His Headline says “Instructor at ATI” and Buddy includes details about the course in his Experience section.
  • D. Lee Fugal – Mentions the course in his Summary and Experience.
  • Jim Jenkins – Courses are included throughout Jim’s profile, including his Headline, Summary, Experience, Projects, and Courses.
  • 2. Link to your course page.

In the Contact Info section of your LinkedIn profile, you can link out to three websites. To add your course, go to Edit Profile, then click on Contact Info (just below your number of connections, next to a Rolodex card icon). Click on the pencil icon to the right of Websites to add a new site.

Choose the type of website you are adding. The best option is “Other:” as that allows you to insert your own name for the link. You have 35 characters – you can use a shortened version of your course title or simply “ATI Course.” Then copy/paste the link to the page about your course.

This example from Jim Jenkins’ profile shows how a customized link looks:


3. Upload course materials.

You can upload course materials to help people better understand the content you cover. You could include PowerPoint presentations (from this course or other training), course handouts (PDFs), videos or graphics. They can be added to your Summary, Experience or Project. You can see an example of an upload above, in Tom Logsdon’s profile.

4. Add skills related to your course.

LinkedIn allows you to include up to 50 skills on your profile. If your current list of skills doesn’t include the topics you cover in your course, you might want to add them.

Go to the Skills & Endorsements section on your Edit Profile page, then click on Add skill. Start typing and let LinkedIn auto-complete your topic. If your exact topic isn’t included in the suggestions, you can add it.

5. Ask students for recommendations.

Are you still in touch with former students who were particularly appreciative of the training you provided in your course? You might want to ask them for a recommendation that you can include on your profile. Here are some tips on asking for recommendations from LinkedIn expert Viveka Von Rosen.

6. Use an exciting background graphic.

You can add an image at the top of your profile – perhaps a photo of you teaching the course, a photo of your course materials, a graphic from your presentation, or simply some images related to your topic. You can see an example on Val Traver’s profile.

Go to Edit Profile, then run your mouse over the top of the page (just above your name). You will see the option to Edit Background. Click there and upload your image. The ideal size is 1400 pixels by 425. LinkedIn prefers a JPG, PNG or GIF. Of course, only upload an image that you have permission to use.


Share News about Your Course

You can also use LinkedIn to attract more attendees to your course every time you teach.

7. When a course date is scheduled, share the news as a status update.

This lets your connections know that you are teaching a course – it’s a great way to reach the people who are most likely to be interested and able to make referrals.

Go to your LinkedIn home page, and click on the box under your photo that says “Share an update.” Copy and paste the URL of the page on the ATI website that has the course description. Once the section below populates with the ATI Courses logo and the course description, delete the URL. Replace it with a comment such as:

“Looking forward to teaching my next course on [title] for @Applied Technology Institute on [date] at [location].”

Note that when you finish typing “@Applied Technology Institute” it will give you the option to click on the company name. When you do that ATI will know you are promoting the course, and will be deeply grateful!

When people comment on your update, it’s nice to like their comment or reply with a “Thank you!” message. Their comment shares the update with their network, so they are giving your course publicity.

If you want to start doing more with status updates, here are some good tips about what to share (and what not to share) from LinkedIn expert Kim Garst.

8. Share the news in LinkedIn Groups.

If you have joined any LinkedIn Groups in your areas of expertise, share the news there too.

Of course, in a Group you want to phrase the message a little differently. Instead of “Looking forward to teaching…” you might say “Registration is now open for…” or “For everyone interested in [topic], I’m teaching…”

You could also ask a thought-provoking question on one of the topics you cover. Here are some tips about how to start an interesting discussion in a LinkedIn Group.

9. Post again if you still have seats available.

If the course date is getting close and you are looking for more people to register, you should post again. The text below will work as a status update and in most LinkedIn Groups.

“We still have several seats open for my course on [title] on [date] at [location]. If you know of anyone who might be interested, could you please forward this? Thanks. ”

“We have had a few last-minute cancellations for my course on [title] on [date] at [location]. Know anyone who might be interested in attending?”

10. Blog about the topic of the course.

When you publish blog posts on LinkedIn using their publishing platform, you get even more exposure than with a status update:

  • The blog posts are pushed out to all your connections.
  • They stay visible on your LinkedIn profile, and
  • They are made available to Google and other search engines.

A blog post published on LinkedIn will rank higher than one posted elsewhere, because LinkedIn is such an authority site. So this can give your course considerable exposure.

You probably have written articles or have other content relevant to the course. Pick something that is 750-1500 words.

To publish it, go to your LinkedIn home page, and click on the link that says “Publish a post.” The interface is very simple – easier than using Microsoft Word. Include an image if you can. You probably have something in your training materials that will be perfect.

At the end of the post, add a sentence that says:

“To learn more, attend my course on [title].”

Link the title to the course description on the ATI website.

For more tips about blogging, you are welcome to join ProResource’s online training website. The How to Write Blog Posts for LinkedIn course is free.

Take the first step

The most important version of your bio in the digital world is your LinkedIn summary. If you only make one change as a result of reading this blog post, it should be to add a strong summary to your LinkedIn profile. Write the summary promoting yourself as an expert in your field, not as a job seeker. Here are some resources that can help:

Write the first draft of your profile in a word processing program to spell-check and ensure you are within the required character counts. Then copy/paste it into the appropriate sections of your LinkedIn profile. You will have a stronger profile that tells your story effectively with just an hour or two of work!

Contributed by guest blogger Judy Schramm. Schramm is the CEO of ProResource, a marketing agency that works with thought leaders to help them create a powerful and effective presence in social media. ProResource offers done-for-you services as well as social media executive coaching. Contact Judy Schramm at or 703-824-8482.


New Horizons – This was almost a disaster, but was saved by knowledgeable scientists.

The people in the Mission Operations Center — “the MOC” — had been tracking NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft for 9½ years as it journeyed the breadth of the solar system. It was just 10 days away from the dwarf planet Pluto when, at 1:55 p.m. on July 4, it vanished.

The disappearance of the spacecraft challenged the New Horizons team to perform at its highest level and under the greatest of deadline pressures. They did work efficiently and saved the mission. We all wish the New Horizons team the best as they approach the busiest time of the fly-by encounter. I have known and respected many of the engineers and scientist for more than 20 years and am happy to praise their skills.

The nature of the New Horizons mission did not permit any wiggle room, any delays, any do-overs, because it was a flyby. The spacecraft had one shot at Pluto, tightly scheduled: When it vanished, New Horizons was going about 32,000 miles per hour and on track to make its closest pass to Pluto, about 7,800 miles, at precisely 7:49 a.m. July 14.

But as the New Horizons team gathered in the control room on July 4, no one knew whether their spacecraft was still alive.


Because New Horizons is so far away, it takes 4 1/2 hours for a one-way message between the spacecraft and the MOC. That means whatever happened to New Horizons on July 4 had actually happened 4 1/2 hours before the people in Mission Operations knew about it.


The team figured out what had gone wrong. The spacecraft’s main computer had been compressing new scientific data for downloading much later. At the same time, it was supposed to execute some previously uploaded commands. It got overloaded; the spacecraft has an “autonomy” system that can decide what to do if something’s not quite right. That system decided to switch from the main to the backup computer and go into safe mode.


Additional information about the start of the New Horizons mission and the key roles played by ATI instructors who worked (and are still working) on the New Horizons mission see

The New Horizons Mission to Pluto–Ten Experts Who Worked Behind-the-Scenes On the New Horizons Mission and Who Teach for ATIcourses.

New Horizons: Recollections of Ground System Engineer, Steve Gemeny

New Horizons: Recollections of Ground System Engineer, Steve Gemeny

This image of Pluto from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) was received on July 8, and has been combined with lower-resolution color information from the Ralph instrument.

When we think about the ground system on a space mission we tend to consider all the systems associated with commanding, receiving and archiving telemetry, and all the communications systems and equipment that makes that all work.  We plan contingencies, and redundancies, we back up everything in multiple formats, and on long duration missions like New Horizons someone eventually has to address “how are we going to keep all that stuff on the ground running for 10 – 20 years”-  and produces a Longevity Plan.

But once everything is all setup, and operational, and all the staff are at their stations on launch day – having already given the first “Go For Launch” pole responses with 5 hours till launch – You have to wonder, did anyone ever consider what to do if the entire JHU/APL campus goes dark!

No one had.  And with a newly installed cutover for the main (PEPCO) power feed providing an automatic transfer to a backup (BGE) feed  no one expected to ever need the capability, let alone that it would failed to transfer.  It did- at about 5:30 am on launch day while I was on console at KSC.  The rapid application of backup generators to sustain the Mission Operations Center at APL only solved half of the issues…  Network switches and routers were scattered across campus, most only running on UPS Power until that failed too… there was no cooling air to keep everything operating within normal temperatures on January 18, 2006…  Things were going from bad to worse and the Mission System Engineer was heard to say “  I’ve seen how quickly a Launch day can get deep into the contingency  plan, I’m not starting a launch when we are already this deep into solving unplanned contingencies”. This resulted in the launch being scrubbed and resumed on January 19th after power and environmental control systems were restored campus wide at APL.

Fortunately, I spent the time that afternoon to write the whole thing up in case I was asked to give a report, I’ve got pictures of generators outside Building 13, with external air handlers and chillers hosed up to blowers and leaks flooding the hallways…  It was a ZOO!.  I was safe at KSC and we restarted the count for a successful launch on the 19th.

Steve Gemeny teaches Ground Systems Design & Operations course for ATICourses.

Other scientists & engineers that worked on the New Horizons and also teach for ATI are:

1. Dr. Alan Stern

2. Eric Hoffman

3. Chris DeBoy

4. Dr. Mark E. Pittelkau

5. Douglas Mehoke

6. John Penn

7. Timothy Cole

8. Robert Moore

9. Jay Jenkins


Read more


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Are We At The Brink Of Space War? Russian Object 2014-28E could be a satellite-killer.

Space debris populations seen from outside geosynchronous orbit (GEO). Note the two primary debris fields, the ring of objects in GEO, and the cloud of objects in low earth orbit (LEO).

Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses) offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace Engineering and Radar, Missiles & Combat Systems.  We think the news on mysterious Object 2014-28E launched by Russian military could be of interest to our readers.

A strange vehicle floating above our atmosphere could be Russia’s first piece of space weaponry launched since the end of the Cold War.
Called Object 2014-28E, it has been making unusual movements towards other Russian space vehicles over the past few weeks, and last night it was spotted moving over Guatemala.
It is now being monitored by Norad, the US Military space defence command, since no one can work out for certain what it is.
On the one hand it could be nothing more than a civilian project to help clean up space junk, or a craft for refuelling Russian satellites already in space.
But another, more sinister theory, is that it has been designed to damage satellites belonging to other nations, such as those of the US. In other words, it could be a “satellite killer”.
Patricia Lewis, research director at think-tank Chatham House, told the FT: “It could have a number of functions, some civilian and some military. One possibility is for some kind of grabber bar.
“Another would be kinetic pellets which shoot out at another satellite. Or possibly there could be a satellite-to-satellite cyber attack or jamming.
She added that as long as countries are adopting military methods of attack on the ground, there is no reason why this shouldn’t extend to space. “It would be odd if space were to remain the one area that [militaries] don’t get their hands on,” she said.
It was only last week, after all, that hackers linked to the Chinese government infiltrated US federal weather satellites.
The fact that Russia has not declared the launch of this mysterious object has exacerbated fears of a revival of the Kremlin’s former project to destroy satellites. During the Cold War, Stalin introduced a project called Istrebitel Sputnikov for just this purpose, and sent military vehicles into space to damage US satellites.
The project came to an end in 1989 when the iron curtain fell – a time when many of the clandestine research projects Soviet and US engineers were working on were closed down.
But Russian military officials publicly stated that they would restart research if their relations with the US over anti-missile defence treaties deteriorated.
Given the many sanctions the West is currently placing on Russia due to its involvement in the Ukraine crisis, it seems like the time is ripe for Moscow to take up its space weapons once more.

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Two Galileo Satellites Are Parked In the Wrong Spots

The satellites were launched on Friday from French Guiana
The satellites were launched on Friday from French Guiana

Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers a variety of courses on spacecraft design. spacecraft quality control or spacecraft thermal design.

We think the news below could be of interest to our readers.

An international inquiry is under way into an embarrassing error which has left two multi-million European satellites that were launched from French Guiana in the wrong orbit.

On 22 August, a Soyuz rocket launched the fifth and sixth satellites of Europe’s Galileo project, a satellite navigation system that will eventually comprise 30 satellites designed to make Europe independent of U.S., Russian, and other GPS systems. Unlike most Soyuz launches, the rocket did not lift off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, but from Kourou, Europe’s space center in French Guiana.  Apparently the launch went off without incident, but it soon became apparent that the two satellites were injected into the wrong orbits. The upper stage of the Soyuz rocket, the Fregat-MT, injected them into elliptical orbits instead of circular ones, making the satellites unusable for GPS navigation.

The issue was the result of a frozen full pipe that delivered hydrazine to thrusters necessary to align the Fregat upper stage ready for correct orbital injection.

The freeze was the result of cold helium feed lines being installed in close proximity to the hydrazine fuel lines. They were collectedly the same support structure which led to a thermal bridge. This sequence of events occurred due to a design ambiguity which failed to recognize the possibility of thermal transfer between these components.

While it doesn’t help the two satellites that are now effectively lost to the Galileo network, it is at least a simple fix and will not result in delays to the next launch scheduled for December.

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Kids Will Have a Blast at NASA Goddard’s Model Rocket Contest

Where: NASA Goddard Visitor Center in Beltsville Maryland

When: Sunday July 20, 2014 noon to 4:00 pm

Who: Youth age 15 and younger
Upcoming Launches
June 28, Westminster
This is our quarterly sport launch at the Carroll County Agricultural Center in Westminster, MD.
July 6, Goddard
This is the usual monthly launch at Goddard Visitor Center.
July 19, Mt. Airy
This is our monthly sport launch at Mt. Airy, MD. Alex Mankevich is launch manager.
July 20, Goddard
Come join us at Goddard Visitor Center in Greenbelt, MD for our annual contest to commemorate the Apollo moon landing. This year marks the 45th anniversary of that historic event. We will be holding a spot landing contest that is free and open to the public. See the flyer for more information.

ATI Course Shines Light On Satellite Laser Communications

Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses) offers a variety of courses on Space & Satellite Technology.

As laser technology draw increasing attention from the satellite industry, Applied Technology Institute (ATIcourses) is ready with a specialized program designed for individuals interested in this new frontier in wireless communications. The course is aimed at engineers, scientists and other professionals grounded in traditional radio-frequency communications who want to be prepared as optical technology grows in prominence as a way to transmit data.

The program will provide an overview of the differences and similarities between laser- and RF-based communications. The class will train participants in how to design, implement and optimize laser communications systems, and will focus on the specific challenges laser-based communications systems must overcome to connect hardware in space and on the ground efficiently and reliably. Upcoming session is scheduled for April 28-30, 2014, in Columbia, MD.

The course will be taught by Dr. Hamid Hemmati, supervisor of the Optical Communications Group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where he has worked since 1986. Before joining JPL, Dr. Hemmati worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the U.S. National Institute for Standards and Technology. He specializes in the use of laser technology for space-based communications and is the editor and author of two books about optical communications.

For further information about ATI’s satellite laser communications course, including registration and cost details, visit

About Applied Technology Institute (ATIcourses or ATI)

ATIcourses is a national leader in professional development seminars in the technical areas of space, communications, defense, sonar, radar, engineering, and signal processing. Since 1984, ATIcourses has presented leading-edge technical training to defense and NASA facilities, as well as DOD and aerospace contractors. ATI’s programs create a clear understanding of the fundamental principles and a working knowledge of current technology and applications. ATI offers customized on-site training at your facility anywhere in the United States, as well as internationally, and over 200 annual public courses in dozens of locations. ATI is proud to have world-class experts instructing courses. For more information, call 410-956-8805 or 1-888-501-2100 (toll free), or visit them on the web at

Note: Accredited media are invited to attend for free.


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Tribute to Robert Nelson (1944 – 2013)

Dr. Robert (Bob) A. Nelson was an engineer’s engineer. He was a well-respected first as a physics teacher, and then after earning his PhD, as a satellite communications expert, an author, a consultant and an instructor for the Applied Technology Institute course
Satellite Communication Systems Engineering. Bob was president of Satellite Engineering Research Corporation, a consulting firm in Bethesda, Maryland. He also served for a number of years as the Technical Editor for Via Sat magazine. He was a coauthor of the textbook Satellite Communications Systems Engineering (second edition).

Dr. Nelson was born in Mount Vernon, New York August 14, 1944. Bob died on Sunday April 28, 2013 after a many month battle with cancer.  In spite of the cancer he remained professionally active until the end teaching, and even chairing a technical session during the Satellite 2013 conference in April 2013. He will be missed.

Dr. Nelson performed studies on satellite communications, orbit and constellation analysis, and spacecraft design for Space Systems/Loral, GLOBALSTAR, ICO, Sirius Satellite Radio, Arinc, NASA, Naval Research Laboratory, and many other companies and government agencies.

Dr Nelson earned a degree in Engineering Physics from Lehigh University and decided that he was called to the teaching profession.  He went on to complete a Master of Education from Lehigh and became a Physics and Math teacher for 15 years in Armonk, New York. His interest in Physics continued to grow and Bob his PhD in Physics from the University of Maryland He was a licensed Professional Engineer. He taught in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland and the long-running short course Satellite Communication Systems Engineering for ATIcourses.

Dr. Nelson’s clients included Space Systems/Loral, GLOBALSTAR, ICO, Arinc, Naval Research Laboratory, Lockheed Martin, Ball Aerospace, NASA and many other companies and government agencies. He was an active member of the Space and Satellite community and was recently moderator at the Satellite 2013 session “Quest to Defy Physics: Ka-band and Rain Attenuation”.  He is coauthor of the textbook Satellite Communication Systems Engineering, 2nd ed. (Prentice Hall, 1993). Dr. Nelson was the Technical Editor of Via Satellite magazine. He was a member of IEEE, AIAA, APS, AAPT, AAS, IAU, and ION.

Essays on Space and Satellite Communications — by Robert A. Nelson


Dr Nelson was a respected and trusted colleague who had a passion and dedication for everything that he did.


Training budgets: Smaller is not an option


The debate on the budgets for the government organizations is pretty toxic in the US. Both US Navy and US Army alongside other organizations have declared budget shortfalls which effect many areas including training. Without commitment to training and learning new skills there can be no continuous improvement, which is one of the prime directives of any government or company.

The Applied Technology Institute (ATI) specializes in short course technical training in space, communications, defense, sonar, radar, systems engineering and signal processing. Since 1984 ATI has provided leading-edge public courses and on-site technical training to defense and NASA facilities, as well as DOD and aerospace contractors. The courses provide a clear understanding of the fundamental principles and a working knowledge of current technology and applications.


When your company does not want to pay for the training you really want, as an alternative, you can:

  • Spent your own personal money and funds; if you believe in it and then you will do it
  • Find a user group who are practicing the skills you desire
  • Don’t accept the classic answer from the boss, “How does X help the business?”. If the training is relevant to you achieving a goal of being a much better employee then of course it is relevant.
  • Find another organization to work for

A training manager with a good team can:

  • Fight for your team and their training; fight for your team’s budget and don’t let the senior management take it away
  • Give up your personal training for the entire year and suggest that they allocate the extra budget to training for your team members
  • Perhaps, it is time to evaluate the relationship with the preferred supplier of training. Has your firm been getting decent value from the PSL (preferred supplier list)?
  • Find alternatives to training like brown bag lunches and/or collaborate with other businesses

Everybody needs training and self-improvement.

Please share your opinion with us by commenting below.

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The future is here: Our children can partner with NASA on MARS studies

Who would have thought that our children can participate in NASA space and solar system studies directly?

Now they can thanks to New NASA science resource called Wavelength.

Wavelength site features hundreds of resources organized by topic and audience level from elementary to college, and out-of-school programs that span the extent of NASA science.  It not only lets users find nearly everything they want to know about NASA science, but it also allows them to provide direct feedback to NASA to enhance our products.

Seven Washington Academy fifth-graders in Belvidere, IL are doing just that.  Although the young scientists aren’t quite ready for NASA yet, they’re helping gather research for it.

Based on the information they gather, the students will propose a question to NASA — for example, was there ever ice on Mars? Then, the space agency will use the visible wavelength camera aboard the Mars Odyssey spacecraft in orbit around the red planet to take photos that can help the young scholars answer their original question. The students will use Skype to present their findings to NASA scientists, who will place data into a database for experts to use.

Aside from researching Mars, the process allows students to think independently and learn how to collaborate to solve problems.  This real-world application motivates students to question all theories and dive into studies themselves.

There are even resources that I can explore with my pre-school age daughter Alice.  You can find them here.


For access to NASA Wavelength, visit:

For information on NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, visit:

For information about NASA education programs, visit:

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