Every summer, Iridium® interns make a truly global difference in a variety of roles ranging from engineering, computer science, astrophysics, business, human resources, marketing, finance and more. Learn more about Bharath Kumar Nagalamadagu Govindaraju, Radio Frequency (RF) Engineering Intern in this Q&A.
Can you please introduce yourself and tell us more about your internship at Iridium?
My name is Bharath Kumar Nagalamadagu Govindaraju, and I am a graduate student at George Mason University, specializing in Internet of Things (IoT) and Network Security. I have worked as an IoT and Electronics Engineer for three years and tend to focus on socially unconventional projects that address real-time issues people face.
With a passion for IoT, I was elated to join the innovative team at Iridium as an RF Engineering intern in the Iridium Certification group under the guidance of Senior Engineering Manager, Omid Nia. The company’s reputation for pushing boundaries and fostering a culture of creativity and excellence resonated deeply with my aspirations. Little did I know that this summer would exceed my expectations, opening doors to hands-on learning and collaboration that would leave an indelible mark on my professional journey.
From the onset, I learned about the complexities and intricacies of satellite communications (SATCOM) and IoT through captivating projects. Guided by experienced mentors, my responsibilities required analytical thinking and creativity.
Can you share more about the Iridium Connected™ product you created this summer? What does it do, and what motivated you to pursue this project?
Ever since I was young, I have been interested in agriculture and have had various connections to it, both directly and indirectly. The challenges faced by the agriculture industry and how to overcome them have always been fascinating to me. One of the most pressing issues in the field is the depletion of soil nutrients due to overuse, which can lead to erosion and lower yields.
Climate change has also brought about unpredictable weather patterns, which can negatively affect crop growth and result in crop failure. Additionally, water scarcity, pests, and diseases are all significant challenges that farmers must contend with, often resulting in lower crop yields and income losses for farmers.
During my internship at Iridium, we developed a prototype to help solve all these problems, based on the concept of precise and scientific farming methodologies for efficient usage of resources. Iridium’s Agronomical Management System—also known as Green Box—constantly monitors the whole process in which we have segregated the vital elements of farmland into three different ways:
Environment Management System
Consists of a DHT11 sensor, which captures the temperature and humidity of the surroundings.
Water Management Sensors
Includes pH, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), and water temperature sensors, which are essential for assessing water’s cleanliness and overall quality.
Soil Management Sensors
- Soil moisture sensors automate water pumping.
- Maintaining optimal soil moisture levels is vital for healthy and hydrated plants, so regularly monitoring the moisture content of the soil is critical to promoting optimal plant growth.
- Take note of any dry soil areas and water them thoroughly, keeping a close eye on the moisture levels to ensure they remain consistently moist.
The microprocessor is linked to all the sensors and pumps, including the Iridium 9603 Module. The pH of water is checked at regular intervals, and in case of any abnormalities, the pH buffer solution is pumped to bring it back to the necessary pH level. The status of all sensors and devices is constantly monitored, and the data is transmitted to the Iridium satellite network and received at the designated IP address.
Using Iridium’s satellite communication services, this product can be installed anywhere on Earth, providing convenience and accessibility for users worldwide. Its portability simplifies the installation process and ensures that users can easily set it up without any hassle. Whether in a bustling city or a remote location, this product can be easily installed and put to use. Its versatility and reliability make it a valuable tool for individuals and businesses.
What is something you’ve taken from your internship at Iridium?
The guidance and mentorship I received at Iridium were integral to my growth. The open-door policy encouraged candid conversations where I could seek advice, discuss challenges, and explore opportunities. These interactions fine-tuned my technical skills and provided a glimpse into the art of thriving in a dynamic work environment.
Reflecting on my summer at Iridium, my gratitude is boundless for its profound impact on me and my career. The exposure to cutting-edge technologies, the camaraderie of brilliant minds, and the culture of perpetual learning have equipped me with tools to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of RF Engineering and SATCOM.