By Their Powers Combined – NASA



In a historic first, all six radio frequency antennas at the Madrid Deep Space Communication Complex – part of NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) – carried out a test to receive data from the agency’s Voyager 1 spacecraft at the same time on April 20, 2024. Known as “arraying,” combining the receiving power of several antennas allows the DSN to collect the very faint signals from faraway spacecraft. A five-antenna array is currently needed to downlink science data from the spacecraft’s Plasma Wave System instrument. As Voyager gets further way, six antennas will be needed.

Image Credit: MDSCC/INTA, Francisco “Paco” Moreno

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