Isotropic Systems Secures New Round of Funding to Develop Satellite Antennas

Isotropic Systems has secured an additional $5 million in venture capital to further develop its satellite antenna technology for mobile and high throughput satellite applications, moving the company a step closer to bringing its innovative design to the market. The new round of investor-funding was lead by Waterlow Management, a London-based venture capital firm. The company also announced that it has established an operational headquarters in the Tysons Commercial Complex of Northern Virginia and has opened a research and testing lab in Pennsylvania, USA.

With this funding, Isotropic will move into development of the proof-of-concept prototype for its antenna technology. Isotropic’s unique design incorporates the foundations of a cutting edge scientific field known as transformation optics in order to significantly improve all aspects of bandwidth performance and drastically reduce manufacturing costs compared to phased-array and all other variants of flat-panel satellite antennas. The technology breakthrough will allow manufacturing of satellite antennas that have no moving parts and can connect simultaneously to different satellites using different bandwidths. The antenna can be shaped to almost any form factor, giving it an exceptionally low footprint. It will be designed for high-capacity bandwidth applications, making them suitable for a range of mobility customers including maritime, aeronautical, enterprise, military and the nascent connected-car market.

Isotropic Systems have designed this antenna to use the Ku, Ka and V frequency bands of high-throughput satellites (HTS) being adopted by existing and emerging HTS operators investing in next generation broadband or mobility service platforms such as Inmarsat GX, O3b, OneWeb, Intelsat EpicNG, ViaSat, Boeing, and SpaceX, along with standard geosynchronous satellite operators offering mobility services.

Phased array and all other variants of flat-panel antennas being developed currently for high-throughput satellites (HTS) connectivity have materials on their surfaces that disperse radio waves in ways that lead to bandwidth inefficiency. These antennas are very complex to manufacture with costs increasing in line with the number of cross-connected circuit arrays, known as “feeds,” on the antenna surface, often impeding the overall cost and scalability. These characteristics significantly limit satellite mobility applications to the high-end, low volume market sector and fall short in ability to fully exploit the global opportunity for high-throughput services. In contrast, the Isotropic technology decouples the number of elements from the antenna’s scanning performance and imbeds an arrangement of thin super-element devices to manipulate radio waves into a highly capable beam-forming device. This allows a design that requires about 75% fewer component parts overall, thus lowering manufacturing cost without loss of spectral efficiency.