UNIO Enterprise: Core Consortium of Space SMEs Forms NewSpace System House to Build Satellite Constellations

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Berlin, Germany, 5 September 2022 

Connectivity for the mobility sector as main focus

Like China and the U.S., an independent Europe needs its own secure communications constellation in space. Keywords from the catalog of services for commercial services here are “autonomous driving” and the “Internet of Things”; institutional applications range from civil to military use. As part of an EU study, the European UNIO consortium has shed light on the innovation potential of the European NewSpace sector for the large-scale project. The core of this NewSpace approach is the principle of realizing an overall concept from several sub-constellations for specific commercial application areas in each case. Taken together, they result in a metaconstellation with sufficient capacity for secure private as well as government applications, and this at extremely competitive prices. The goal here is to sell the users the desired performance, but not the taxpayer the entire technology. To bundle all the necessary capabilities under one roof, the three previous core companies of the UNIO constellation – launch service provider Isar Aerospace, laser specialist Mynaric and satellite manufacturer Reflex Aerospace, – have now joined forces with their new partner SES S.A. to establish the central European operations and system house UNIO Enterprise GmbH, headquartered in Munich.  Behind this is also the largest innovation potential of the network of startups and small and medium-sized space companies in Europe.


UNIO Enterprise: commercial, competitive, fast and sustainable

The central starting point for UNIO Enterprise’s revolutionary offering to Europe’s business community and institutions: commercial satcom services for the mobility sector on land, at sea and in the air. In Europe’s automotive sector alone, the market volume here is expected to grow to over 14 billion euros by 2030 – and only a dedicated European solution can ensure data security and independent operation for European users. “The value of the European Commission’s initiative cannot be overestimated – on the one hand for the security and economic development capability of the continent, and on the other hand for the formation of an urgently needed new ecosystem of the space industry with strong involvement of the innovation potential of startups and SMEs; the EU Commission even formulates guarantees for this in analogy to the priorities of German politics as well,” says co-founder Chris Lindener. “For the realization, we emphatically rely on the principle of competition as a counter design to any kind of monopoly commissioning. Investing a little in competition at the beginning saves many times that cost in the end.” UNIO Enterprise is setting the pace: A first demonstration mission of two satellites is scheduled already for 2023/24, followed by the deployment of the planned infrastructure starting in 2025. By equipping all satellites of the constellation with the new ADEO deorbit sail system from HPS, Munich, for the first time worldwide as standard, UNIO also avoids the formation of space debris on Earth before it can even occur in space. Key to the economics of it all is NewSpace’s proven lever of verticalization.


Founding companies bundle know-how

With Mynaric, Isar Aerospace, Reflex Aerospace and SES as founding companies, UNIO Enterprise has extensive know-how to address the market. An advisory board with representatives from each company will also support UNIO Enterprise with relevant expertise. Chairman of the Advisory Board, Bulent Altan, comments, “UNIO will ultimately bring hundreds of millions of euros in relief to the government customer and the taxpayer by involving the private sector. That should be worth its weight in gold, especially in these times.” Altan was among SpaceX’s first employees and, as vice president for Satellite Mission Assurance, led teams responsible for the avionics, guidance and control of the first Dragon capsules and Falcon rockets, as well as the delivery of the first Starlink prototype satellites. He was also responsible for innovation and digital transformation at Airbus; today he acts in finance as a partner in the venture capital firm Alpine Space Ventures. With SES, Europe’s leading large commercial space company now also supports the UNIO concept. Dr. Xavier Bertran, member of the Advisory Board and Senior Vice President EU Programmes of SES, the world’s leading satellite operator and connectivity solutions provider based in Europe, said, “At SES, we are excited to be part of a like-minded joint venture like UNIO, which is embracing innovation and targets a new growth area in the automotive sector. Innovating to grow our business is very much part of SES’s DNA. The investment in NewSpace is also part of our ambition to revolutionize the use of satellite communications in Europe and more globally for new applications in the mobility industry and a sustainable future for society”.To this end, the management team is currently being expanded at full speed, and the first rounds of financing have already been successfully completed.

About Reflex Aerospace

Based in Munich and Berlin, Reflex Aerospace enables lightning-fast innovation in space by designing and manufacturing 100 to 500 kg payload-specific, dual-use satellite platforms within 12 months. Reflex is redefining satellite development by blending verticalized in-house design and manufacturing, end-to-end support, secure-by-design modules, hardware-accelerated encryption, and the highest-performing core avionics in its class.



Reflex Aerospace GmbH – Press contact
Lauro Gabriel De Souza Hining

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