“We are addressing the problem of communications, being able to provide big data from small spacecraft.” -Doug Stetson from FreeFall Aerospace
When we travel through and explore space, we’re going to need to communicate, and gather a LOT of data. Fast, reliable, low-cost access to large volumes of data is one of the most critical capabilities that will define the future. So the folks at Freefall provide some pretty neat technologies that help move data and help us communicate effectively and quickly. Julie Bonner and Doug Stetson sat down with Beth at SpaceCom Expo in Houston, Texas and highlighted these new technologies, why and how they will “disrupt” and improve communications, and what some of the challenges their company, Freefall Aerospace, will have to overcome, including a LAUNCH later this year.
Freefall’s technologies include an All-Sky Antenna (think of an antenna for things on the move like vehicles and ships), an INFLATABLE Cubesat Antenna (think of a small, thin, skinny balloon) and a Smart City Antenna, all enabling data to move quickly- which is going to be important in the space-based communication systems we’ll use.
“We are developing some very innovative technologies. That’s a good thing, but one of the challenges is that when you have something that’s what we call disruptive, it has to be not just a little bit better, but a LOT better than the other systems that people and companies are used to using…and it’s a question of proving to the community that the rewards of using this type of new system are worth the additional risk to implement something new.” -Doug Stetson
About Doug Stetson:
Doug Stetson is President and CEO of FreeFall Aerospace, a small business dedicated to advancing and developing innovative antenna technology for satellite communications and 5G internet applications. Prior to founding FreeFall in 2016, Doug spent nearly 30 years at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in a variety of technical and management positions including several assignments at NASA Headquarters. At JPL, he had lead roles in systems engineering and mission design for a number of high-profile missions to Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, and was responsible for the development of new planetary mission concepts and programs. Doug led the development of a number of mission and technology “roadmaps” for the national science community and NASA, and established new initiatives for mission and system innovation and cost assessment. During his three tours at NASA Headquarters, Doug served as the deputy manager of the NASA Advanced Planning and Integration Office, coordinated development of the Agency’s 2003 Strategic Plan, and served as acting chief of Planetary Advanced Studies in the early 1990’s After leaving JPL in 2008, Doug established the Space Science and Exploration Consulting Group and was project manager for the LightSail mission, a privately-funded Cubesat that successfully deployed and tested a solar sail in Earth orbit. Doug holds a B.S. in Physics and M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University.
He is the recipient of a number of local and national awards, including the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal and the JPL Award for Excellence in Leadership.
About Julie Bonner:
Julie Bonner, Marketing Director for FreeFall Aerospace, connects partners, vendors, and investors to FreeFall’s intelligent antenna systems. She’s created marketing campaigns and collateral for national corporations like Mister Car Wash and Clear Channel Outdoor, to Tucson-based start-ups and non-profits. She has been awarded the Tucson AdFed Next Generation Award for making a significant impact on the advertising industry through leadership, career achievements and personal qualities, which also inspire others to excel. She is also active in Start-Up Tucson, Arizona Technology Council and Local First Arizona. Julie holds a Bachelors of Science in Graphic Design from Drexel University and a Masters in Business.
For more information about FreeFall:
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/freefall-aerospace/
Did you know… FreeFall Aerospace received the 2019 Innovator of the Year Startup Company award https://freefallmovingdata.com/innovator-of-the-year/
Listen to more! Julie was recently interviewed about marketing for FreeFall: https://youtu.be/20kvGzZ0bt8