Fine Structure

Orion Antenna Testing

NASA's image of the day gallery is a great place to pick up images from current and historic NASA missions. Today's image shows a scale Orion module in an anechoic chamber. Anechoic chambers are used to reduce the amount of reflection from sound or, in this case, radio frequency waves and remove as much external noise as possible.

Space is one environment which would closely mimic an anechoic chamber, with very few objects to reflect radio frequencies or cause nearby interference (well, except for the occasional solar flare, but that's another issue altogether). I imagine they were testing parameters such as the lower signal power limit that Orion could clearly pick up and possibly any echos or interference produced by the geometry of the model. All the other electronics on board could potentially produce some interference so who knows what kind of interesting "stuff" they packed inside this Orion model! ]