Important work with extraordinary people.
RayKel Thompson is always reaching for the stars—and, no, that’s not just a motivational sentiment. As an Orbital Analyst at Numerica, one of RayKel’s many responsibilities is to track items flying through space, leveraging Numerica software and Space Surveillance Network data.
In her three years with Numerica, RayKel has matched 7,800 objects to an existing catalog, updated 1,700 objects on the ‘attention’ list—that’s for items that were missing for 5 to 30 days—and recovered 2,000 objects on the ‘lost’ list, which is reserved for items that were missing for 30 days. That’s a significant contribution to space domain awareness. With the increasing number of payloads and debris orbiting Earth, Numerica’s involvement in the processing of uncorrelated tracks is crucial to the security of satellites and to the safety of astronauts.
“I’m proud to be a Numerican because being a Numerican means so much more than ‘Oh, you work for a company,” RayKel says about her job.
The space industry agrees. Numerica’s reputation as an industry leader in space domain awareness is well-known, evidenced by the recent partnership with the UK Space Agency. The partnership leans on the skills and expertise of Numericans like RayKel to utilize space surveillance tracking data from a worldwide network of optical telescopes powered by state-of-the-art software to help keep UK satellites safely operating. It’s exciting work, and another headline-grabbing advancement for Numerica and its employees.
It’s more than just a job
The importance of RayKel’s work goes without question, but the work isn’t the only thing that keeps her excited to show up each day.
“I enjoy the work I do, but more importantly the people I work with,” says RayKel. “There is respect among one another, Numerica’s core values are significant, and not only do we work together to complete great work, but we have fun.”
Which is saying a lot considering RayKel works remotely from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, roughly 1,200 miles away from Numerica’s headquarters in Fort Collins, CO. But that’s how strong the connection is between RayKel and her co-workers, a testament to the workplace culture at Numerica.
In a few words, RayKel describes that culture as: “Motivating, progressive, inclusive, collaborative, challenging, fun, innovative and rewarding.”
RayKel came to Numerica after finishing her career in the military. She says she was drawn to Numerica for its similar emphasis on tight-knit culture: “[Numerica seemed] like a family of talented, intelligent people who truly care about the work they are doing.”
Her instincts proved correct. During her first holiday party with the company—she flew in from California—RayKel received her one-year jacket and spent the day reconnecting with co-workers she hadn’t seen in person since she joined the company. “After the company meeting, we met at a brewery to celebrate the holidays,” she recalls. “The entire day was amazing.”
Growing Numerica’s partnerships
Back in California, RayKel actively works to grow the Numerica family by building and maintaining a positive relationship between Numerica and the 18th Space Control Squadron, a U.S. Space Force control unit based at Vandenberg Space Force Base.
These military-private sector partnerships are crucial for the continued safety of U.S. interests in space. Numerica provides high-quality space domain awareness data and software solutions that inform operator action to help protect government satellites from on-orbit hazards and threats.
It’s important work that RayKel gets to do alongside supportive co-workers.
“I get the amazing opportunity to grow and develop myself among great people who care about me as an individual,” she says. “I’m proud because not only do I have a great job, but a Numerica family as well.”