Celestia eyes larger stake in ground segment market

WASHINGTON — Dutch conglomerate Celestia Applied sciences Group hopes to offer extra satellite tv for pc gateway stations following its December acquisition of Antwerp Area’s floor techniques division in Belgium. 

Celestia, now 250 individuals throughout eight nations, generated 30 million euros ($33.3 million) in 2019 income, with Airbus, Thales Alenia Area and the European Area Company as its prime prospects, José Alonso, Celestia Group’s chairman, mentioned in an interview. 

Celestia consists of 12 small- to medium-sized companies throughout France, Germany, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the U.Ok., Eire and now Belgium.

Celestia purchased Antwerp Area’s floor techniques division from OHB, Europe’s third largest house firm. Alonso mentioned Celestia now has the means to construct all components of a satellite tv for pc gateway floor station as an alternative of simply choose elements. 

“We have been attempting to purchase corporations which have been capable of present elements or components of floor stations — on essentially the most modern elements — so we have been capable of match all the weather that have been required within the floor phase,” he mentioned. “At this time we’re capable of do every thing inside a floor station.”

Celestia’s focus is on gateway stations for spacecraft operations corresponding to telemetry, monitoring and management, usually seen at satellite tv for pc teleports and command facilities. At this time the corporate provides parabolic dish antennas, however Alonso mentioned it is usually creating a flat, electronically-steered antenna it hopes to have prepared in 2023. 

The European Area Company awarded Celestia Group an 8-million euro contract to develop an electronically steered gateway station that may monitor and talk with a number of satellites concurrently. Dish antennas can solely comply with one satellite tv for pc at a time, which whereas nice for geostationary satellites, is much less sensible for big constellations in different orbits. 

Alonso mentioned that whereas electronically steered antennas are costlier than dish antennas, a single electronically steered antenna ought to be capable to substitute a number of dish antennas, making them less expensive. 

The lately acquired floor techniques division of Antwerp Area additionally offers communications gear for launch automobile floor techniques, and can additional Celestia’s funding into software-defined modems, he mentioned. The acquisition added 17 individuals to Celestia’s headcount, and is anticipated to offer 4 million euros in further annual income. 

Celestia has been steadily shopping for corporations, having bought French amplifier firm Callisto in 2018, and Dutch firm SSBV (renamed C-STS), which checks satellite tv for pc communications techniques, in 2016. The corporate plans to make further acquisitions within the coming years to develop its income, he mentioned. 

Alonso mentioned the Antwerp Area buy was “absolutely according to the present Celestia technique, primarily based on acquisitions of small house corporations that deliver into Celestia promising innovation property to foster future development.”

Celestia is concentrating on 40 million euros in income for 2020, he mentioned. The corporate had beforehand set the aim of fifty million euros and rising to 500 individuals, however Alonso mentioned limits in funds saved these objectives out of attain. Celestia since realized it has been capable of develop revenues with fewer individuals because of the upper margins related to full merchandise as an alternative of simply parts, he mentioned. 

By 2030, the corporate’s aim is to develop to 1,000 individuals and pull in 100 million euros in annual income, Alonso mentioned. The corporate plans to make use of income and debt to fund further acquisitions to achieve that dimension, he mentioned. 

Alonso mentioned future acquisitions will probably be within the nations the place Celestia is already current. Celestia additionally desires to broaden within the U.S., a course of Alonso mentioned will probably depend on Subsequent Section Measurements, a Torrance, California-based antenna testing firm by which Celestia is a minority shareholder. 

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