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28 September 2018

Space satellite industry expert joins Akash as it files for experimental license with FCC

© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.

Akash Systems Inc of San Francisco, CA, USA – which was founded in 2016 by Felix Ejeckam and Ty Mitchell and is focused on developing and supplying small satellites (CubeSats) and the RF power amplifiers that power them – has appointed Brian Holz as chief architect. Holz brings extensive space satellite experience from his work directing the design and construction of satellite constellations for leading commercial organizations.

“With competition becoming fierce in the crowded satellite industry, we recognized the need to bring the best minds to our team,” says CEO & gallium nitride (GaN)-on-diamond inventor Felix Ejeckam. “Brian will bolster our systems development as we ramp up efforts to deliver next-generation RF communications links to a world that continues to demand increased connectivity.”

Ejeckam invented the GaN-on-diamond technology in 2003 while at Group4 Labs Inc by lifting GaN epitaxy from its original growth substrate (for example, silicon) and transferring it to a synthetic CVD diamond substrate. Group4 Labs’ assets were acquired in 2013 by Element Six Technologies (a member of the De Beers Group of Companies). In 2016, Ejeckam, together with Akash co-founder & chief operating officer Ty Mitchell, entered into an agreement with RFHIC Corp of Anyang, South Korea (which designs and makes active RF & microwave high-power components and hybrid modules) to jointly negotiate the repurchase of the GaN-on-diamond intellectual property (IP), with Akash acquiring all patents and other IP rights related to GaN-on-diamond technology for use in satellite communications and related markets.

With extensive experience in space systems engineering, program management and executive leadership, Holz will further Akash’s aim to develop the next generation of small satellites and the components that power them. He was previously CEO of OneWeb Satellites, and executive VP & chief technology officer O3b Networks. He has expertise in startup management, global supply chain operations, multi-discipline team leadership and core technology development.

“The satellite industry is massively hindered by bandwidth constraints, and Akash’s components will be game-changing for the entire industry,” comments Khosla Ventures investor Delian Asparouhov. “Brian is a key component of helping us transform communications in space.”

Holz joins Akash just as it has completed its critical FCC (Federal Communications Commission) filing for an experimental license, which grants organizations the ability to conduct scientific and research missions.

See related items:

Akash raises $3.1m in seed round funding led by Khosla Ventures

Akash Systems formed to apply GaN-on-diamond technology to SatComs

RFHIC signs deal to acquire Element Six’s GaN on Diamond epiwafer technology

Tags: GaN-on-diamond

Visit: www.AkashSystemsInc.com

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