Rachana is a space engineer with expertise in embedded systems development. She is currently a development engineer at the small-satellite company Berlin Space Technologies in Germany and is building on-board data handling systems for earth-observation micro satellite platforms.
During her previous stint at the German Aerospace center (DLR – Deutsches Zentrum für Luft‑ und Raumfahrt) in Berlin, she had worked on the MMX (Martian Moons Exploration) sample return mission and developed FPGA software for a rover instrument.
Before her move to Germany, she was a research engineer at ADRIN (Advanced Data Processing Research Institute), one of the research centers under the Department of Space (DoS), Government of India for five years. Her work was primarily development of novel ground processing chain architectures for high resolution LEO and also GEO satellites for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). During this time, she was also trained by ISRO on their remote sensing ground segment and the usage of their Geoportal Bhuvan.
Alongside her technical competencies, Rachana also hosts a podcast series called Those Space People that features casual cosmic conversations with people working on all things space. She is also an active member of the Women in Aerospace (WIA-Europe) network. She has co-led the creation of its Berlin local group and is currently spearheading its activities. During her time at ADRIN, she was an organizer for the ISRO/DoS Annual Technical Conference. Rachana was also the cultural secretary for the ADRIN centre for two years and was responsible for compèring events and overseeing cultural programs. Rachana had brought the SpaceUp unconference to her alma mater IIST and it is now an annual event attended by space enthusiasts and students from across the country. She also periodically writes about space law, business and technology on her website rachana.space and is quite active on twitter @rachanareddym. Rachana actively participates in space conferences such as the IAC.
Rachana has a bachelor degree in Avionics from the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), which is a deemed university under the Department of Space, Government of India. She has a master degree in space engineering from Technical University Berlin (TU-B), Germany. She also has a second master degree in space and telecommunication laws from NALSAR University of Law (National Academy of Legal Studies and Research) in India.
Rachana loves space sci-fi and her latest favourites are the Three-Body problem series by Liu Cixin and the Wayfarer series by Becky Chambers.