Kymeta's Osprey u8 HGL during its first field trial in February at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland. Credit: Kymeta

TAMPA, Fla. — Flat panel antenna maker Kymeta is refreshing its leadership team as the company prepares to start shipping its first multi-orbit broadband user terminal.

Kymeta said March 11 that co-CEOs Walter Berger and Doug Hutcheson, who were also president and chair, respectively, are retiring at the end of March after leading the company for five years.

Rick Bergman, most recently executive vice president for computing and graphics at chipmaker AMD, is replacing Berger as president and CEO. Bergman also served as president and CEO of computer touchpad maker Synaptics from 2011-2019.

Aerospace industry veteran Nicole Piasecki, a Kymeta board member since May 2022, will become its chair as the manufacturer abandons the co-CEO leadership structure.

Kymeta told SpaceNews earlier this month that it was close to commercial deployments for Osprey u8 HGL (hybrid GEO/LEO), a terminal for military vehicles that can connect to Eutelsat broadband satellites in geostationary and low Earth orbit.

The company also sells LEO-only and GEO-only flat panel terminals for government and commercial customers.

According to Kymeta, Osprey u8 HGL is set to be the first flat panel terminal in the market capable of connecting across operational GEO and LEO satellite networks.

Israel’s GetSat is also developing a GEO-LEO flat panel antenna designed for military land vehicles in partnership with satellite operator Intelsat, the Multi Orbit Tactical Terminal (MOTT), with installations slated to start this summer.

Kymeta raised $84 million from investors in 2022 to fund product launches that would compete with these and other flat panel developers in the works.

While low-profile, multi-orbit antennas are key to realizing the full potential of hybrid networks promising to combine large amounts of broadband capacity in GEO with the low latency and pole-to-pole coverage of LEO, analysts say costs are currently a barrier to their widespread adoption outside government and aviation.

“The inherent need for the antennas to be flexible and future-proof drives up costs,” Euroconsult consultant Alix Rousselière recently told SpaceNews, adding that these prices should come down as the technology matures.

Jason Rainbow writes about satellite telecom, space finance and commercial markets for SpaceNews. He has spent more than a decade covering the global space industry as a business journalist. Previously, he was Group Editor-in-Chief for Finance Information...