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Cubecom takes proudly SA satellite innovation global

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 11 Apr 2024
Johann de Swardt, CEO of Cubecom, and Sampie Booysen, CTO.
Johann de Swardt, CEO of Cubecom, and Sampie Booysen, CTO.

Stellenbosch-based satellite systems provider, Cubecom says it has seen increased demand for its microsatellite High Data Rate Transmitters from international space institutes, as organisations increasingly invest in new space technologies.

Over the last 12 months, the company says it has seen massive growth in sales, having escalated its revenue by 89%.

From 2022, the company has expanded its product portfolio from five categories to 18, and it has been on a continuous journey to advance its offerings.

Part of the Alphawave Group,Cubecom became a registered trademark in 2015, and has been a dedicated manufacturer of communication systems to the commercial new space industry since inception.

The company designs, develops, and manufactures communication systems for satellites.

Cubecom notes that the high number of orders received thus far – from global space institutes based in countries such as Hungary, Netherlands, Khazaktsan, Turkey, US and Brazil – underscores the global demand for high-quality South African technology and highlights the country's important role in the global microsatellite industry.

Sampie Booysen, CTO of Cubecom, notes the increasing demand positions Cubecom at the forefront of satellite communication innovation, and showcases how local engineers are illuminating the global aerospace sector.

"Securing these orders is not just a business milestone for Cubecom; it's a validation of decades of hard work, innovation, and relentless pursuit of excellence by our team, and also by so many other local companies like us in our industry," states Booysen.

“We have enjoyed a revenue growth of 89% after launching our flagship product, the Microsatellite High Data Rate Transmitter, which was on-board SpaceX’s Transporter-6 into orbit in January 2023, on a ground-breaking microsatellite mission. This acceleration of interest stems from the fact that our transmitters are proven to meet the rigorous demands of reliable satellite.”

High Data Rate Transmitters are used in satellites that generate a lot of data.

The most common application for these transmitters is for earth observation satellites in low earth orbit. They are best-suited for data intensive missions with specialised sensing technology such as hyper-spectral or multi-spectral imagers, according to the company.

Other applications include synthetic aperture radar sensing or geo-location monitoring.

Johann de Swardt, CEO of Cubecom, says: “While we have been consulting engineers for 20 years, collaborating with the space tech sector, and working with the likes of AAC Clyde Space and ISI-SPACE, these orders are a clear indicator of the global space industry's recognition of our country's engineering talent and innovation.”

Alphawave Group has been behind a number of the country's success stories in the field over the last few decades. From the first X-band transmitter built in 2002, the company has been continuously improving its technology portfolio.

Through EMSS Antennas, the group was awarded a contract by the SKA Observatory last year, for the production of advanced feed packages.

Frans Meyer, CEO of the Alphawave Group, adds: “These ongoing achievements are, to some extent, a source of genuine national pride and an inspiration for aspiring engineers and scientists across South Africa.

“In the last five years, Alphawave has positioned itself as a dedicated supplier of high-speed communication systems to the new space industry bringing six new transmitters to the market.”