CesiumAstro, Inc. has closed a $12.4 million Series A funding round led by Airbus Ventures — additional investors in the round include Kleiner Perkins, Franklin Templeton Venture Fund, Lavrock Ventures, Honeywell Ventures, and Analog Devices Ventures.
These funds will be used to scale the team and expand the development of a wide range of frequency offerings and system configurations to meet the growing demand for affordable, high-throughput, aerospace plug-and-play communications systems.
Built on a system of scalable and modular “LEGO®-like” software defined architecture, Cesium products turn digital bits into steerable, shapeable radio frequency beams and provide complete communications systems in an easily customizable plug and play kit. Cesium’s fully-integrated systems require only a single power cable and digital connection to make a high-speed communication link. The result is a low-cost, highly reliable, rugged and seamlessly-integrated communications system for satellites, UAVs, launch vehicles and other aerospace platforms.
The Cesium components can be modified for any aerospace application and are platform agnostic. Built with Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) technology, Cesium products combine traditional aerospace reliability with modern technology on an industrial scale. The plug-and-play communication systems bring phased array technology directly to system designers, replacing a major R&D effort with a single product that works right out of the box.
Cesium’s full-stack platforms cover highly diverse applications. With better, higher-speed connectivity enabled by Cesium, the commercial aircraft industry can offer significant productivity gains to every passenger and streamed entertainment to every seat. With a new age of high-resiliency, distributed space systems facilitated by Cesium’s platforms, government satellites can better improve international security. Decentralized remote sensing, imaging, and space-based edge computing are rapidly forming the next generation of data infrastructure, and all of these revolutions democratizing access to space are powered by Cesium’s intelligent phased array platform.
Shey Sabripour, Cesium Founder and CEO, said secure, reliable and high-throughput software-defined data links are the backbone of next-generation space and airborne systems. This Series A round — together with the tremendous support of the company’s new partners — accelerates the way the firm brings state-of-the-art technology to the core of next generation aerospace communications. For the first time, Cesium’s patent-pending hardware and software system architecture brings full-stack functionality of agile-beam communications payloads, at an order of magnitude lower cost.
Thomas d’Halluin, Managing Partner, Airbus Ventures, Silicon Valley, noted that mega constellations of LEO satellites are launching now and the skies will soon be filled with thousands of high-tech spacecraft; Cesium’s unique abilities to intelligently optimize their power and bandwidth at low cost, literally steering significantly improved connectivity to where it’s critically needed, will accelerate the impact of these constellations’ systems. With their leap in improved performance and lower costs over applications ranging from global communications and tactical awareness to formation-flight small satellites in deep space, Cesium becomes a key partner for Airbus Ventures, accelerating humanity’s ascent of the vertical axis, from the ground to deep space.
Wen Hsieh, General Partner, Kleiner Perkins, added that spectrum is a limited natural resource that must be better shared to enable the plethora of mobile devices that require wireless connectivity. Over the next ten years, market demand for spectrum will grow exponentially. Cesium provides small form factor, smart antennas and phased arrays to dynamically re-use frequencies, enabling rapidly-scalable and customizable wireless platforms at high bandwidth and substantially lower cost.