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Expressly shaped for transmitting and receiving radio waves across vast distances, antennas are vital tools for space, linking far-flung satellites with their homeworld – like this example at
ESA’s Redu centre in Belgium.
Antennas are also instruments in their own right, probing alien worlds or elements of the terrestrial environment.
The space industry’s work with antenna systems was highlighted during this month’s EuCAP, the European Conference on Antennas and Propagation in The Hague, the Netherlands on 6–11 April.
ESA was a major sponsor of the conference, which brings together antenna specialists from both academia and industry. More than 1300 specialists arrived from 64 countries.
Paying a visit to the ESA stand, they could come face to face with examples of space antennas, including an engineering model of the L-band antenna, used by Galileo satellites for broadcasting navigation messages down to Earth 23 222 km below.