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1090 Global

A Day In The Life: Michael Olsen


Learn more about Aireon from the Aireon team themselves. This series, “A Day in The Life,” will allow the Aireon team to speak first-hand about their experiences, views, and future outlook on space-based ADS-B.  Aireon is proud of our extraordinary team of experts and aim to highlight them in this blog series. We hope you enjoy meeting the Aireon team and further understand our strong commitment to aviation.

Aireon is embarking upon a journey to develop and deploy the most innovative aviation surveillance capability since Radar.  The engineers at Aireon and its partners are working tirelessly to develop and implement the system that will eventually provide this uniquely global service to the world.  Concurrently, the Aireon Technical Operations staff and I are working to design, develop and implement the infrastructure necessary to safely operate and maintain the system and services over the life of the system.

The Aireon Technical Operations mission is to safely operate, maintain and continuously improve the most reliable aviation surveillance data service in the world.  This must be done within a safety mandate, which requires the technical operations department to ensure the safe delivery of space-based ADS-B. This puts Aireon Technical Operations in the unique position of operating in many ways like an Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) operations center, while also operating as a global commercial service, providing the highest level commercial customer service.

As the Director of Technical Operations, I have the pleasure of leading a team of consummate professionals in the implementation of a unique service operation that, we believe, will set the standard for those who may come after us.  I, working with my Program Manager, coordinate all the multiple activities to get us ready for live operations.  I can often be found meeting with customers and visiting their operations centers to gain insight on how we can better operate to meet their needs.  You will also find me meeting with suppliers to ensure that they are prepared to meet Aireon’s standards so that we are all collectively ready to “go live.”

Since 2016, the technical operations team has been building the operations and maintenance (O&M) infrastructure from the ground up.   As of today, the team is busy acquiring resources and implementing the policies, plans, processes, tools and software required to monitor and operate the systems that make up the AireonSM service.  We started by identifying and evaluating the standards and regulatory frameworks under which Aireon would have to operate to include aviation safety, information and IT security, quality assurance and service management (e.g. DO278A, ICAO, US/EU Aviation Regulations, ISO 27000, ISO 20000, CMMI, ITIL). Then, we created the Technical Operations Requirements that trace back to the applicable standards and frameworks identified and used them to define the policies, plans, processes and procedures that we are now implementing through the acquisition of resources and integration of processes and tools.

Be sure to check in with the Aireon Technical Operations Team next year when we will be able to share the story of how Aireon is operating and maintaining the only global aviation surveillance service in the world.