ESA / G. PORTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ESA / G. PORTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Drone antenna testing. Unmanned aircraft being tested in the European Space Agency's (ESA) Hertz radio-frequency anechoic test chamber. The drone, developed by Barnard Microsystems Ltd of the UK, has a steerable array antenna in its wing to keep contact with satellites. Designed for oil, gas and mineral prospecting, pipeline surveying and border patrols, the drone will spend most of its time operating far from its controller, often in areas with no communications infrastructure. ESA's ESTARR project - Electronically Steered Antenna Array in the Wing of a Remotely Piloted Aircraft - is investigating the feasibility of such systems. Photographed in 2017.
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