Dec 3, 2018
A venture-capital fund focused on University of Arizona technology has invested in Freefall Aerospace, a UA spinoff that has developed a new, steerable antenna for satellite and ground-based communications.
Freefall was founded by UA astronomy professor Chris Walker and NASA veteran Doug Stetson to advance antenna technology licensed from the UA.
The company’s antennas are compact, lightweight and require low power, enabling 360-degree steerable high-frequency communications with no moving parts.
In August, the company demonstrated its high-efficiency antennas for small satellites in a test flight from Fort Sumner, New Mexico.
UA Venture founder and CEO Fletcher McCusker said in announcing the investment that Freefall has the chance to transform the scale of antenna systems for modern communications, including satellite and emerging 5G cellular applications.
“All of us at FreeFall are extremely proud to be teamed up with UA Venture Capital, and we are very grateful to Fletcher and his investment team for sharing our vision and putting their faith in us” said Doug Stetson, President of FreeFall Aerospace. “The resources they provide are essential to fulfilling the promise of our technology and transforming it into meaningful and valuable products. The entire Tucson technology community has been very supportive, and we are excited to be a part of it and looking forward to a great New Year!”
UA Venture Capital
Formed in 2017 to invest exclusively in University of Arizona led technology, products and science, UA Venture Capital (UAVC) is an early stage investment fund designed to advance and commercialize U of A led inventions. UAVC and the U of A partner with faculty, students and alumni to bring to market new technologies that will advance communication, science, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, sustainability, software and engineering industries. Founder Fletcher McCusker is a U of A graduate, alumnus of the year and was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2015. Michael Deitch and Fletcher McCusker were the CEO and CFO team that led the privatization of SinfoniaRx, one of the first companies launched by Tech Launch Arizona.
FreeFall is developing revolutionary new antenna technology for ground, air, and space. Their innovative spherical antennas are drawing interest from a wide variety of commercial and government organizations, offering wide field of view, electronic steering, and low mass to dramatically simplify and improve satellite communications. The company’s unique antennas for the coming 5G wireless world are unlike anything else on the market and enable high-frequency, steerable communications for Smart Cities, connected vehicles, and the Internet of Things. FreeFall was founded in Tucson as a spin-off from the University of Arizona and maintains a close connection with UA faculty and supporters.