A field test has been recently carried out on the antenna of the Radar for Icy Moon Exploration – RIME (Principal Investigator: Prof. Lorenzo Bruzzone) that will be on board the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE).
The test was conducted using a helicopter operating out of a glider airport in Heiligenberg, close to Friedrichshafen, Germany. To measure key characteristics of the antenna and to verify software simulations, the 17 meters carbon fiber dipole antenna was mounted on a simplified mock-up of the spacecraft and hung 150 m below the helicopter, which hovered between 50 and 320 m above the ground. The test was successful and provided very important data for optimizing the RIME design. A video of the experiment is available here .
For more details and interviews see European Space Agency (ESA) and Italian Space Agency (ASI) press release at the link below.