Located above a strip of Spadina Avenue populated by nail salons, currency exchange vendors and a leather supply store, the fourth-floor office of Kepler Communications looks like that of any other tech startup – exposed heating ducts, open concept layout, a large conference table for meetings.
That is, until you spot the control room.
Inside the glass walls, an operator stares at a bank of six large computer screens that display data from Kepler’s tiny communications satellites as they streak overhead, from pole to pole, at an altitude of about 600 kilometres. Above his head are four clocks displaying the local times of Kepler’s ground-based antennae in Markham, Ont., Inuvik, N.W.T., and Svalbard, Norway, as well as co-ordinated universal time or UTC.
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