Boeing to expand SATCOM capabilities

Boeing to expand SATCOM capabilities

Stephen Kuper

Boeing Defense and Space has announced a key investment in a London-based start-up, Isotropic Systems, which focuses on improving global satellite communications capabilities around the world. 

By taking advantage of optical beam steering, Isotropic's innovative user terminals can simultaneously connect with several different satellites without increasing cost or complexity. This capability will help enable low-cost, mass-market broadband connectivity for consumers and help companies meet growing demand for satellite data, mobility and broadband services even in the most remote places.

Brian Schettler, managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures, said, "Isotropic's solution allows for increased capabilities at reduced costs for satellite service providers. This investment accelerates the expansion of space-based connectivity services to the mass market and continues Boeing's leadership in space innovation." 

Founded in 2013 by chief executive John Finney, a former founding member of O3b Networks, Isotropic has redefined the approach to mass distribution of satellite broadband through affordable infrastructure.

"With Boeing, we aim to connect individuals and enterprises on a scale that has never been seen before. That legacy of true global connection will define our generation," Finney said. 

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Isotropic joins Boeing subsidiary Millennium Space Systems, and Boeing HorizonX Ventures portfolio start-ups, South Australia-based Myriota, BridgeSat and Accion Systems, in advancing the company's satellite and space-based capabilities, Isotropic is the second UK-based start-up to join the HorizonX portfolio, following Reaction Engines in April 2018.

"This investment is another indication of the strength of the UK's aerospace and technology sectors, and Boeing's commitment to growing in the UK," said Sir Michael Arthur, president of Boeing Europe and managing director of Boeing UK and Ireland.

Boeing HorizonX Ventures led the Series A funding round with participation from WML, Space Angels and Space Capital. This latest investment will connect the Isotropic team with Boeing experts and resources to help advance the development of its terminal solutions.

Boeing HorizonX Ventures targets investments that help scale start-up innovation in aerospace. Its portfolio includes companies specialising in autonomous systems, additive manufacturing, energy and data storage, advanced materials, augmented reality systems and software, machine learning, hybrid-electric and hypersonic propulsion and internet of things connectivity.

Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company, the leading manufacturer of commercial airplanes and defence, space and security systems, and a major provider of commercial and government aerospace services.

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