Thursday, January 24, 2013

Small Space Engineering Firm Looking to Grow

      by Brian Orlotti

Roman Ronge.
With the increasing emphasis on micro and nano satellite systems in today’s fiscally restricted environment, Brampton based Aflare Systems seems poised to become a major player. The company, formed in 2005, is a privately-owned engineering firm that specializes in the design and development of real-time systems for the aerospace, defense, and medical industries.

I recently had the chance to speak with Roman Ronge, the owner and President of Aflare. Ronge, an aerospace engineer and former researcher at the University of Toronto’s Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS), provided some insight into his company in the context of the current aerospace business climate.

Could you please give us an overview on Aflare Systems? What does Aflare do and what does it hope to achieve? How did your company begin?
Aflare Systems started as software consulting company back in 2005 and transformed into an engineering company in 2010 that provides more complete set of services in systems design and development for operation in demanding environments. Our products, currently under development, are also helping Aflare to find its niche primarily in the aerospace market.
Founding our business on effective and responsible engineering, we see a synergy and significant opportunities in the growing low cost, small satellite and UAV markets. Two industry segments, where we can supply our products and services that will satisfy our clients and advance Aflare into a recognized industry player and further its vision.
Why did you choose to start your own firm instead of working for someone else?
I guess that comes really from my personality. Being labelled a maverick over the span of my employment career several times perhaps explains it better. I would say that it is more the drive to achieve something new in combination with persistence and in very significant part, passion for space exploration and pushing our limits. Not a small motivation is also seeing our customer’s satisfaction with delivered results that exceed their expectations. And as an entrepreneur, I am certainly much closer to this goal than as an employee.
What can you tell us about Aflare’s current projects?
As an example, I could perhaps mention our project to develop a low cost, high performance receiver/transmitter usable in different variations on both UAVs and nano/micro satellite platforms.
Although no agreement has been signed yet, recent acceptance of our project in the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Space Technologies Development Program (STDP) will certainly help to move it in the right direction.

We are also working on standardized software control components and modules both platforms could certainly benefit from.
What is your take on the current situation of space/aerospace advocacy groups? Who do you think are the ones to watch?
Not being involved or following their activities, I really cannot comment on most of the associations and advocacy groups.
With that said, I really like what the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) under Jim Quick’s leadership is developing into. Being a major unifying voice for the Canadian aerospace businesses needed to drive our government to support and promote this fantastic industry. An industry that has helped put Canada on the world map and advances its whole industrial and research base.
Additionally, the more research-oriented Canadian Space Society (CSS) and truly enterprise-focused Canadian Space Commerce Association (CSCA) are great networking and collaborative groups.
They have great visions of Canada’s future in Space and are playing a greater and greater role in capturing the spirit of young Canadians.

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