Increasing The Flow Of Goods And Information In The Solar System

CEO and Co-founder Dr. Jordan Vannitsen sees Luxembourg as a trailblazer in the NewSpace economy (Photo © Kaori Anne Jolliffe / Silicon Luxembourg)

Although the technologies developed by ODYSSEUS are already addressing the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation market, they are really targeting a market that is yet to be developed. CEO and Co-founder Dr. Jordan Vannitsen fills us in on ODYSSEUS’ long-term plans, Luxembourg’s SpaceTech sector and more.

What is ODYSSEUS about?

We believe in a future where finding and using space resources on the Moon and beyond will become a reality but we know that this is a long time market.

This is why all the products and services we develop have applications in the near-Earth satellite market while paving the way for space resources missions thanks to our key-enabling affordable, yet performant solutions.

How did you come up with the idea?

We are three founders passionate about space. When we started ODYSSEUS in 2016, in Taiwan, we believed it was a good time to create a space company as the NewSpace philosophy of better, faster and cheaper access to space was becoming more of a reality and we knew that we could bring our skills to it!

At the time, Taiwan had more than 20 years of space activity but no space industry. We thought it was a good place and timing to start the company. There, we could leverage the resources from the semi-conductor industry to apply them to our space business.

What are your products and services?

Since 2016, we have been providing to our customers engineering services covering all phases of their satellite mission. We then invested the revenues from this activity into our own products development, namely ASTRAEUS, our autonomous in-space optical navigation, and CYCLOPS, our end-to-end optical communication solution. We also got support from LSA for these products development now.

With a booming need for high-data rates, secured and license-free communications, we right now focus on our CYCLOPS line of products: terminals for optical ground stations and satellite terminals for space-to-ground & inter-satellite communication links.

“If you are in the space sector come to Luxembourg.”

Dr. Jordan Vannitsen

Why did you choose to land in Luxembourg to develop your company?

Even while in Taiwan, as most of our customers and partners were in Europe, we thought it would be strategic for us to expand there to work closer with them. In 2018, we decided to join the Challenge organised by ESA and LSA and we won! The price was an ESA contract to develop one of our products in Luxembourg. It was perfect for us to start and develop the company here!

What is your vision of the space ecosystem here?

I see Luxembourg as a trailblazer in the NewSpace economy. The government here has a true business-oriented way to support the growth of the local space ecosystem. They listen to us, and they act!

I have been here only for a couple of years and despite the covid situation, the number of space companies tripled, making it easier for us to find local partners and customers.

Within few years, we will have a truly comprehensive space ecosystem that everyone in our line of business will want to be part of or to work with.

If you are in the space business, come to Luxembourg!

What’s next for ODYSSEUS?

This year, we plan to raise a Series A round of funding to accelerate and diversify the development of our CYCLOPS line of products to address the mega constellations market.

Next year, we will start deploying a truly global hybrid RF-Laser Ground Station Network together with our partner Leaf Space from Italy. When fully deployed, it will finally bring enough connection opportunities required by the customers who want to use laser communication from space to ground.

We are already working with different customers to demonstrate in space, on their platform, different versions of our satellite laser communication terminals.

The key to unlock this market will be to scale-up and be able to industrialize our production capabilities so that we can meet the demand in term of number of terminals, cost, performance, and quality. This is something we had in mind since the beginning of the CYCLOPS project and that we are already investigating.

This article was first published in the Silicon Luxembourg magazine. Read the full digital version of the magazine on our website, here. You can also choose to receive a hard copy at the office or at home. Subscribe now.

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