Austin space company expands tech footprint with satellite launch

Austin

BEE CAVE, Texas (KXAN) — For one Austin-based company, its latest endeavor is, quite literally, out of this world.

Space communications technology company CesiumAstro celebrated the launch of two experimental satellites Monday afternoon with a watch party at its Bee Cave headquarters. NASA streamed the satellite launch from its take off at California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base.

As the clock ticked down to the final 10 seconds, onlookers watched with bated breath as the satellites prepared for lift off.

The company specializes active phased array technology, which includes software-controlled systems where radio wave beams are electronically steered to communicate and transfer data back to their targeted destination. CesiumAstro works with customers such as NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. Navy, among others.

Two CesiumAstro ground stations are also in development in Texas and Colorado, which will be able to communicate with more advanced spacecraft on future missions.

For founder and CEO Shey Sabripour, those few minutes of lift off were the culmination of years of research and a dream, scribbled on a piece of paper and shared with fellow industry heads at The Grove nearly five years ago.

“What happens over the next decade will be transformative in the telecommunication area,” he said. “We have developed core technologies that make all this possible and will transform telecommunication as we know it today. And today, you’ll see the first example of that.”

For companies like Amazon and SpaceX, which are working to deploy small satellites into space, CesiumAstro’s software helps their space-based technology communicate data and findings back to earth. And the pull toward space is pronounced in the expanding interest in autonomous technology and artificial intelligence, he added.

“All of this is enabled by the kinds of technologies that are going to come out over the next 10 years,” he said. “We have core technologies that enable that, and we’re proving that today.”

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