Big data from Small Spacecraft

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

  • Inflatables for ultra-low mass and volume

  • Large aperture for high gain

  • Efficient beam steering for maximum data return

  • Spherical reflector for wide field of view

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


Electronic steering maintains the link


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


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

Challenges of Satellite Communications

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.

Current solutions include simple “omnidirectional” antennas for small spacecraft that are low power and mass but have very low data rates. Directional parabolic antennas are also used but require precise pointing and complex deployments. Advanced phased array “beamforming” antennas have wider coverage and steerable but high power, complex, and costly.

FreeFall’s Spacecraft Antenna Solution

FreeFall’s Advanced Inflatable Antenna System enables big data from cubesats and other small low cost spacecraft. FreeFall started in the stars with antenna technology based on research in high-frequency radio astronomy at the University of Arizona. The unique inflatable spherical reflector is compact and lightweight and provides a wide field of view for complete coverage. This novel approach allows for a dramatic increase in data rate with minimum mass, power, and complexity which is critical to the space-based communication systems of the 5G world.

Now entire constellations of low cost satellites can be integrated in a complete communications network. By helping to bridge the digital divide FreeFall is becoming a leader in the science of connectivity, ushering in a new generation of connected people, places, and things.

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