Spacecraft

/Spacecraft
Spacecraft 2019-06-07T17:47:22+00:00

Challenges of Satellite Communication

Power: A fundamental limitation of all space activities where more power traditionally equals more data, but it’s hard to produce, hard to store, and hard to manage.

Pointing: Getting the data to the right place on the ground. Directional radio beams yield more data, but turning the satellite or antenna is complex and costly.

Mass: Every kilogram placed in orbit is precious. Large antennas provide more data, but traditional deployable antennas are heavy and complex.

Minimize all three to get more data per dollar.

Current Solutions:

  • Simple “omnidirectional” antennas for small spacecraft

  • Low power and low mass but very low data rates

  • Directional parabolic antennas

All of these require precise pointing and complex deployments. Advanced phased array “beamforming” antennas have wider coverage and steerable but high power, complex, and costly.

Our Solution: Big data from Small Spacecraft

FreeFall Inflatable Spherical Antenna

FreeFall is pioneering lightweight, low power, steerable antenna systems that provide big data at the lowest cost.

  • Inflatables for ultra-low mass and volume

  • Large aperture for high gain

  • Electronic beam steering for maximum data return

  • Spherical reflector for wide field of view

The result: 10-100 times more data return per dollar

Connectivity

Electronic steering maintains the link

Automatic

No needfor active pointing of antenna or spacecraft

Higher Data Rates

100-1000x higher data rates with no increase in mass or power

Big Data

Big data from small spacecraft without increasing mass or power

Video

High-rate data and video from space

Imaging on Your Device

Enables high-rate data and video from space directly to a soldier’s hand-held device