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TechFocus Member Spotlight with Doug Stetson, CEO of FreeFall Aerospace

Joining us for this edition of the TechFocus Member Spotlight podcast is Doug Stetson, CEO of FreeFall Aerospace. FreeFall is developing innovative antenna technology that will bridge the current digital divide to make the goal of global connectivity a reality. Before co-founding FreeFall in 2016, Stetson spent 30 years at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory having lead roles in systems engineering and mission design for Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn missions. Stetson holds a B.S. in Physics and M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University, and is the recipient of the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal and the JPL Award for Excellence in Leadership.

The FreeFall Aerospace spherical antennas for ground, air and space offer significant satellite communications improvements to a variety of commercial and government organizations. The disruptive technology that is used allows for dramatic increases in data transmissions, “It is potentially orders of magnitude better than the existing techniques,” said Stetson. In today’s 5G world, reliable, fast and low-cost access to large volumes of data will define the future of space-based communications systems.

Stetson’s co-founder, Dr. Chris Walker originally developed FreeFall’s innovative antenna technology for the NASA GUSTO mission (set to launch later this year) but realized it could also be used to solve satellite communication challenges here on Earth. Stetson shared “We really see applications for this technology across commercial, as well as government, military, and scientific programs, all of which rely on the ability to efficiently communicate large amounts of data.” Its next steps in product engineering will be key in delivering the FreeFall promise of global connectivity and potentially change the future of communications for the world.

FreeFall is developing revolutionary new antenna technology for ground, air, and space. FreeFall was founded in Tucson as a spin-off from the University of Arizona and maintains a close connection with both UA faculty and supporters.

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