Celestia UK to develop advanced antenna systems with Scottish Enterprise Support

Jose Alonso Chairman of Celestia Technologies Group, Fiona Hyslop, Scottish Govenment's Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work & Culture

CELESTIA Technologies Group UK Ltd (Celestia UK) will establish an innovative project to develop a fully electronic scanning antenna for use with satellite-based aircraft Wi-Fi applications after receiving a £2.5m R&D award from Scottish Enterprise, Scotland’s national economic development agency.  

The company, a UK subsidiary of Celestia Technologies Group headquartered in Holland, will be based initially at The GRID at Heriot-Watt University while it identifies permanent premises in Scotland.  A total of 18 jobs will be created in Antenna technologies, Software Defined Radio, Radio Frequency Engineering and System Design. 

The R&D award announcement was made on Wednesday 19th February 2020 during a visit to  The GRID by the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture, Fiona Hyslop, who met senior representatives from the company.   

In welcoming the Cabinet Secretary to the company’s new facility, José Alonso, Chairman of

Celestia Technologies Group, said: “The grant will allow the company to establish a centre of competence in scanning antennas in Scotland and have the confidence to continue its expansion in the UK in the supportive environment of the Scottish space sector, where skills and collaborative partners are in good supply.  We are pleased to contribute to knowledge-based jobs creation in the Edinburgh area and to the economic growth of Scotland,” he said.

The significance of the investment was highlighted by Catherine Mealing-Jones, Growth Director at the UK Space Agency, who said: “There has never been a better time to start and grow a space business in the UK, with support networks, funding opportunities and advice available across the country. This investment underlines the strength of the skills and expertise available to industry in the UK.

“The support provided by Scottish Enterprise and the UK Space Agency, through our leading investment in the European Space Agency’s telecommunications research programme, has helped create the environment in which companies such as Celestia can thrive,” she said.

CTG will use the R&D grant to develop a satellite antenna for aircraft to link with a communication satellite for the in-flight broadband sector, which is experiencing rapid growth. For this project, CTG intends to develop a flat panel antenna incorporating multi-beam and phased-array technology and to test and validate a full prototype as well as setting the basis for ulterior production.  The proposed innovative design will be electronically steered and will offer improved communications and connectivity performance for a new generation of low and medium orbit satellites.

Jonathan Wilson, Global Head of Inward Investment Services at Scottish Enterprise, added, “The decision by Celestia UK to deliver this innovative R&D project in Scotland is incredibly exciting and one which Scottish Enterprise is delighted to support. Our space sector was of great appeal to Celestia UK, highlighting the growing importance of this industry as Scotland seeks to be Europe’s leading space nation.”

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