NewSpace People Interview with Astrapi Corporation

Company Update

What's the Background of Astrapi Corporation Top Management?


Jerrold Prothero, Ph.D.: Jerrold developed the generalization of Euler’s formula that led to his invention of the spiral modulation technology. Jerrold now has over forty patents, among ten patent families issued, pending, filed provisionally and/or covered under Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) provisions related to spiral modulation. He has advised both the private sector and the U.S. Government on technology issues. Jerrold has substantially contributed to more than twenty-five technology implementations including the development of software used to monitor $7 trillion in assets for the IRS. He received his advanced degrees while at the Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HITL), an industrial lab consortium focused on commercializing university research. He holds B.S. degrees in Physics and Computer Science (with Honors), an M.S.E. in Inter-Disciplinary Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, all from the University of Washington in Seattle. A chess master, Jerrold also enjoys analyzing and solving complex problems.

David Shaw: David has twenty-nine years’ experience in validating concepts, direct sales and product development while introducing new products and working with early-stage companies such as Global Uni-Docs, Forbis Energy and others. In addition to successfully selling Nail Express, David, as a General Partner, helped deliver the $30 million Renaissance Plaza project dramatically ahead of pro-forma. He was awarded the prestigious Xerox President’s Club award for sales excellence every year he was eligible. David attended the University of Texas at Austin and holds a BBA in Finance from the McCombs School of Business and an MS in Technology Commercialization from the internationally renowned IC² Institute where he has earned the George Kozmetsky award for academic excellence. David is a frequent panel reviewer for the National Science Foundation.

Rita Martinez-Solon: Rita has served in three Presidential Administrations, twice as a Presidential appointee at the U.S. Department of Energy, where she worked on tech transfer issues at the National Labs. She has also served as a Cabinet-level speechwriter; a White House staffer; and a Congressional aide. Rita has served on the board of the Junior League of Seattle, the Internet Business Alliance, and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce Technology Alliance Council (serving with founder Bill Gates, Senior). She was a Visiting Scholar for the Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HITL) at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she was involved in numerous high tech spin-off and start-ups. Rita is a Certified Emerging Company Analyst.


Dennis Ahearn: Dennis was the Associate General Counsel for Intellectual Property and Technology Law at Lockheed Martin Corporation and the Chief Intellectual Property Counsel at COMSAT Corporation. Over his extensive career Dennis provided strategic and management guidance to companies acquiring, developing, managing, licensing and utilizing technology involving Patents, Trade Secrets, Trademarks, Copyrights and Software in commercial and government settings. Areas of concentration include Aerospace and Defense, Commercial Space Activities, Open Source Software, and Internet Utilization, among others. He was conferred a BA in Physics from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of San Francisco.

Andrew Roscoe: Mr. Roscoe, a career executive with more than 25 years of experience, has a proven record building and advising companies in the wireless and government contracting sectors. He has held executive positions for firms in the sectors of telecommunications engineering and construction, telecommunications management consulting services, and government contracting. Mr. Roscoe managed several wireless firms from startup through multiple growth phases to successful M&A exits, including The Strategis Group, Integrated Site Development Company, and O2 Wireless Solutions, Inc. A recognized leader in the technology industry, he has been involved in the development and implementation of critical telecom and IT technologies worldwide. Mr. Roscoe was named as one of the most influential people in the cellular industry by Cellular Marketing Magazine, and served as the Chairman of PCIA’s Marketing and Consumer Affairs Committee during the development of the 3G cellular standard. A popular keynote speaker and author of many articles, he has appeared on television in support of telecommunications issues. Mr. Roscoe has provided strategic guidance to telecommunications carriers and manufacturers and trade associations. He holds a BA in International Affairs and an MA in Economics, both from the George Washington University.

In addition, Astrapi has a very strong team of ad-hoc advisors and contributors.

What Is Astrapi's Core Product or Service?

Astrapi was organized to address the spectrum crisis through the licensing of our proprietary spiral modulation technology. Traditional digital telecommunication is based conceptually on complex circles derived from Euler’s formula, leading to transmission using sinusoids with constant amplitude over each symbol time. Unlike all existing alternatives, spiral modulation is instead based on a new technique called Instantaneous Spectral Analysis (ISA) for representing signals as polynomials and converting them into sinusoids with continuously-varying amplitude for transmission. By for the first time fully exploiting the capabilities of a nonstationary spectrum, spiral modulation makes it possible to dramatically increase spectral efficiency, through breaking an assumption in the sampling theorem that the spectrum is stationary. Spiral modulation provides potential benefits that may include increasing data throughput, reducing occupied bandwidth, reducing signal power, reducing latency, and mitigating phase noise and coherent interference.

What Is Our Unique Value Proposition to Our Market Sector?

There is an acute need to use the radio spectrum more efficiently. The supply of communication bandwidth is limited, but the demand for it is not. The acute demand for spectrum is best reflected in the most recent AWS-3 U.S. auction which closed at over $44 billion, 2-5X greater than analyst predictions. Similarly, U.S. cellular operators spent an estimated $32 billion in 2015 to ensure their networks are able to meet exploding demand, (AGL Media Group). Available solutions to meet demand are to acquire spectrum rights or dramatically increase infrastructure CAPEX. Both solutions to meet demand are very, very expensive.

Existing modulation approaches at the physical layer using signal modulation schemes such as Phase-Shift Keying (PSK) and Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) are approaching their theoretical spectral efficiency limit and are now at the point of diminished investment returns. That’s why the network operators/service provides must spend so much at the complete opposite end of the value chain to meet customer demand. Network operators must address the problem by spending to acquire spectrum at auction or through M&A transactions, and/or make substantial investments in network infrastructure and greater frequency reuse to increase total capacity. Astrapi’s was specifically organized to commercialize spiral modulation to meet the need for more efficient use of radio spectrum.

How Do We Disrupt the Competitive Environment?

Astrapi controls and defines an entirely new field – spiral modulation. Spiral modulation addresses an acute market pain – the spectrum crisis. The spectrum crisis impacts four massive market opportunities for Astrapi – satellite, wireless, defense and the Internet of Things (Iot).

Astrapi’s spiral modulation, which is based on constructing signals from complex spirals rather than the traditional complex circles, provides a completely new and innovative way to expand the signal waveform design space, permitting higher throughput, improved interference mitigation, lower battery power usage and improved synchronization. Astrapi owns over forty issued and pending foundational patents on spiral modulation. Spiral modulation enables operators to lower costs through better optimization of their spectrum holdings while simultaneously improving the Quality of Service.

What Are Our Growth Objectives over the next Five Years?

Astrapi, for many reasons, has targeted satellite networks as our first market. They are capacity constrained, power constrained and susceptible to increasing amounts of interference. Yet their customers are demanding more. The satellite providers control the ground equipment operating in their networks. However the manufacturers of those terminals have a problem. The available modulation approaches have reached the theoretical limit. That’s why the operators must spend so much to meet demand at the opposite end of the value chain.

Our National Science Foundation work showed we could reduce the Bit-Error-Rate (BER) and required symbols for DVB-S2 framing techniques. In one case we compared 256-QAM to spiral modulation and were able to derive the equivalent BER of 64-QAM, a ~5-6 dB performance gain.

We intend to transition those gains into the $58 billion satellite VSAT market and then scale from there. Ultimately we scale into the 2.2 billion smart devices that ship annually. That represents a $40 billion opportunity for Astrapi.

Astrapi’s initial revenue model is based on providing R&D evaluation licenses for Software Defined Radio (SDR) implementations. Astrapi has had validation from customers for this model. Manufacturers have agreed in principle to evaluation licenses, and operators have indicated that they would be willing to pay for engineering support for product development. These R&D licenses will lead to implementation of our technology in the test beds of these satellite operators and manufacturers.

What Competitive Changes Do We Envision?

Existing physical layer alternatives have pretty much reached the theoretical limit and/or the point of diminished investment return. So Astrapi competes with alternative investment in infrastructure projects like High Throughput Satellite systems or others that deal with reuse or sharing of existing spectrum. Those alternative, competitive approaches are quite expensive or extremely complicated to execute in practice.





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