Today’s Pathfinder podcast invites Shey Sabripour to break down how phased array antennas work—and why they’re a game changer for satellites and spacecraft trying to communicate with each other and the ground.
When Shey Sabripour moved to Austin, TX, more than a decade ago, he was immediately struck by the city’s laid-back lifestyle and impressive talent pool (we imagine the Tex Mex didn’t hurt either). After spending a few years as CTO of local Texas startup Firefly Aerospace, Shey couldn’t resist the entrepreneurial itch any longer. Instead of following the commercial space industry flock to Los Angeles, Shey saw something special in Austin and decided it was the perfect breeding ground for his new company, CesiumAstro.
For the uninitiated, Cesium builds high-throughput, software-defined phased array communication systems for airborne and in-space platforms. Today’s Pathfinder podcast invites CEO Shey Sabripour to break down how phased array antennas work—and why they’re a game changer for satellites and spacecraft trying to communicate with each other and the ground.
Shey joins us on the show to discuss:
- Cesium’s origin story
- A primer on phased array technology
- Why phased array antennas are the holy grail for satellites
- The importance of product design
- Why build in Austin, TX
And much more…
Today’s episode is brought to you by SpiderOak, a US-based software company that builds space cybersecurity products and solutions for civilian, military, and commercial space operations. Learn more at https://spideroak.com/
• Chapters •
00:00 – Intro and SpiderOak Ad
01:09 – Shey’s beginnings with the space industry
03:50 – Cesium and its mission
10:50 – A layman explaining phased array technology
16:47 – Use cases for phased arrays
20:33 – Shift in cost curve
22:37 – “Phase array antennas are satellites’ holy grail”
23:47 – Cesium’s core product offering
27:05 – Initial customer base
28:48 – Ad break
29:40 – Why start Cesium?
33:24 – The importance of phased array antennas
35:14 – Learnings from startups and aerospace primes
38:06 – Why build in Austin?
40:10 – How can founders building highly technical companies tell their story?
45:26 – Focusing on product design
47:58 – What else would you be building if not Cesium?
49:48 – What startup are you most excited about?
51:40 – An (unknown) underlying trend in space