• Satellite Evolution Group

Airborne and in-orbit communications leader CesiumAstro, Inc. readies for first mission to launch

CesiumAstro, Inc. announces the upcoming launch of Cesium Mission 1, an on-orbit testbed allowing customers to run experiments on electronically steerable, multibeam active phased array (APA) technology. Spearheaded by Founder and CEO Shey Sabripour, an industry pioneer who spent over two decades at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, CesiumAstro is a full-scale manufacturer advancing airborne and next-generation aerospace platforms.

“At CesiumAstro, we are modernizing global connectivity. Through this new mission, CesiumAstro’s customers will directly benefit from the rich range of opportunities APA communication and sensing systems with a fully software-defined digital backend can provide,” notes Sabripour. “As our team supplies critical defense and commercial sector customers, the breadth of our expanding product offerings is now on full display with our most recent shipments of flight-qualified hardware.”


CesiumAstro has rapidly matured both hardware and software solutions, with key support from major government programs, since its inception:

  • Granted the U.S. Navy’s Rapidly Integrated Tactical Communications Payload Award, CesiumAstro developed a multi-beam active phased array antenna, enriched by software-defined radio, digital backend, and capable of connecting disparate networks and providing stand-in resilience in contested environments;

  • Honored with NASA’s Transformational Communications Technology Development Award, CesiumAstro completed a conceptual design for a next-generation payload to be used for commercial-scale arrays in lunar exploration;

  • In collaboration with the Missile Defense Agency, CesiumAstro has been developing a high-speed missile-to-missile communication system; and

  • Coordinating with the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), CesiumAstro is launching its first two satellites in September 2021 on a rideshare with Landsat-9.

In recent months, CesiumAstro has also manufactured and shipped flight hardware for several NASA programs:

  • CesiumAstro completed shipment of a compact inter-satellite link communication system, gearing up to test mobile networking technologies within swarm missions, through a contract with NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley;

  • In support of NASA’s Glenn Research Center and its SmallSat Ka-band Operations User Terminal (SKOUT) project, CesiumAstro delivered a space communication system designed to provide direct-to-earth communication between NASA mission spacecraft operating with NASA and commercial relay satellite constellations in GEO, as well as direct-to-ground (DTG) networks;

  • CesiumAstro manufactured and shipped a communications system to NASA’s Glenn Research Center for use in cognitive communications research, aiding NASA in the development of techniques supporting autonomy for swarm missions and future lunar architecture deployment.