[Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech]
NASA has announced two new 34 metre dishes for their Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex at Tindbinbilla.
The 34-meter beam waveguide antennas are essential to keep communications flowing smoothly as NASA’s fleet of spacecraft continues to expand. In addition, the waveguide design of the antennas provides easier access for maintenance and future upgrades, because sensitive electronics are housed in a below-the-ground pedestal equipment room, instead of in the center of the dish.
“As a result of several studies, it was determined that arrays of 34-meter beam waveguide antennas were the best solution to long-term continuation of DSN 70-meter capabilities,” said Miguel Marina, who manages the 70-meter replacement task force at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “The new antennas are critical communication resources for all current and future NASA missions.”
Sadly the really big 70 metre dishes are being phased out. But it’s still a great day trip out there!