Latest News

CesiumAstro Demos Ka-Band Phased Array Terminal With SES, Hughes 

By Rachel Jewett | October 5, 2023

CesiumAstro’s Ka-band phased array terminal. Photo: CesiumAstro

CesiumAstro demonstrated its Ka-band active phased array terminal with SES and Hughes Network Systems, connecting to a satellite in Geostationary Orbit (GEO). 

Cesium performed the tests in June and July in Austin, Texas, with the Hughes HM400 software-defined modem connecting through an SES GEO satellite. In tests with the terminal attached to a truck, it browsed the internet and streamed full-motion video and a live webcam feed from the terminal to a remote site. 

The company is on a roadmap to flight-qualify the Ka-band terminal on commercial and defense platforms and has a number of demonstrations planned for the next six months. It plans to do multi-orbit tests with SES; a demonstration aboard a U.S. Air Force MQ-9A Reaper unmanned aerial system (UAS); a helicopter demonstration, and an aviation flight demonstration with Airbus in early to mid-2024

The terminal is primarily targeted for the commercial aircraft market, then military aircraft and drones. Ground terminals for military vehicles is another prospective market. 

“Flat-panel SATCOM with multi-beam and multi-orbit capabilities is game-changing in both the commercial and defense airborne terminal markets,” CEO Shey Sabripour commented. 

CesiumAstro hopes to have the terminal certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) by the first half of 2025, Sabripour tells Via Satellite. The company is in discussions with multiple vendors to mass produce the terminal and plans to be in mass production by the second half of 2025. 

The terminal has a tile-based architecture that can be scaled to support many platforms. It is also software-defined and can integrate different modems and connect to many different satcom providers. 

“The software-definition of our modem means that we can ultimately connect to multiple constellation providers. It gives our customers the ultimate flexibility to choose their provider rather than be locked in with one,” Sabripour said.