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Satellite payload startup raises $12.4 million from Airbus Ventures, other investors

14 Mar 2019, 20:46 UTC
Satellite payload startup raises $12.4 million from Airbus Ventures, other investors
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WASHINGTON — Cesium Astro, a startup building advanced antennas and communications systems for satellites, raised $12.4 million in a Series A round led by Airbus’ venture capital arm Airbus Ventures.
Honeywell Ventures also participated in the round alongside Analog Devices Ventures, Franklin Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins and Lavrock Ventures, the startup said March 13.
Based in Austin, Texas, Cesium Astro formed in 2017 and has raised just over $14 million to date, Founder and CEO Shey Sabripour said in an interview.
Sabripour, a former spacecraft design engineer at Lockheed Martin, said his company has secured rides to space for demonstration phased array antenna systems, and anticipates testing them in orbit in roughly a year.
Breakthroughs in phased array antennas have become a major focus for satellite ground equipment as a means to connect to multiple satellites at once, but in-space use of such antennas is also getting more attention. Boeing has described the payload for SES’s future O3b mPower system as using a “highly integrated electronics phased-array payload system.” Eutelsat’s upcoming Quantum satellite that Airbus Defence and Space is building includes an onboard phased array to reshape communications beams, enabling adjustments to their size, shape, power and location. ...

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