Space Commerce

CesiumAstro Unveils In-Flight Connectivity Satellite Communications Terminal with Planned Airbus Demonstrations

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
March 14, 2023
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CesiumAstro Unveils In-Flight Connectivity Satellite Communications Terminal with Planned Airbus Demonstrations

As the leading designer of active phased array technology for low-Earth orbit (LEO) space, CesiumAstro will provide the industry’s first multi-beam make-before-break phased array supporting multiple Ka-band constellations for airborne commercial and defense markets.

The high-performance yet cost effective system is designed as a scalable solution for a wide range of airborne platforms spanning large commercial aircraft, business jets, helicopters, and unmanned aerial systems.

CesiumAstro’s new IFC system is scheduled for multiple flight demonstrations with Airbus commercial aircraft and helicopters. These demonstrations will showcase the scalability and flexibility of the solution and its ability to connect to multiple satellites and orbits at one time, enabling make-before-break handoff, and other key features that enhance overall quality of service.

“Airbus R&T is committed to evaluating the latest technologies in the industry so that we can provide our customers best in class connectivity,” said Olivier Hauw, leading Fast Track Connectivity at Airbus, “CesiumAstro’s flat panel array technology is at the cutting edge, and we look forward to working together further.”

CesiumAstro will begin demonstrations of its in-flight active phased array technology through 2023 and 2024 with testing moving from the ground to an Airbus helicopter.
SPIDER was designed as a two-flight mission, and its first launch was on New Year’s Day 2015. That first flight lasted 17 days, and scientists used its data to set an upper limit on the brightness of these primordial gravitational waves.

“We did not see them, but we set a strict constraint on how bright they can be,” Filippini said.

The payload from SPIDER’s first flight was recovered in November 2015, and many of those components were used to build the instruments for its second flight. But the latest SPIDER spacecraft is slightly different than its first iteration: this time, researchers added telescopes specifically designed to observe galactic dust.

“We have three new telescopes that are specifically designed to observe galactic dust… which will help us tease out the difference between the primordial signal we’re looking for and the dust, which could fake that signal,” Filippini said.

In-flight connectivity is a growing market, and we are developing the highest performing, most cost-effective solution that is timed to hit the market just as the latest Ka-band satellite constellations come online,” said Shey Sabripour, founder and CEO at CesiumAstro. “Being constellation-agnostic will provide our customers greater flexibility with a key differentiator being multi-beam capability without having to sacrifice performance.”

Today, most aircraft are flying with mechanically steered antenna technologies and are communicating through geostationary satellites. As the industry transitions to solid-state technologies, CesiumAstro’s Ka-band flat panel solution will be lower profile, lighter weight, lower cost, and more flexible than any other solutions available. This game-changing capability is built to be rugged enough to be flown in space, while leveraging commercial automotive manufacturing techniques to control costs and produce at scale while ensuring reliability.

To learn more about CesiumAstro’s active phased array technology and how the company is revolutionizing the active phased array industry for space and airborne platforms, please visit or reach out to

About CesiumAstro

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with offices in Broomfield, Colorado and El Segundo, California, CesiumAstro builds high-throughput, plug-and-play active phased array communication payloads for airborne and in-orbit platforms. Cesium’s full-stack, multi-mission hardware and software products enable a range of commercial and defense objectives. For more information, visit:

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.