Then we discovered an article in Wired magazine about NASA scientists using genetic algorithms to design extremely sensitive aerials for satellites . We contacted the scientists, and to our surprise and delight they agreed to design an aerial specialised for picking up signals at 131.725 Mhz (the transmission frequency for ACARS).
The aerial they designed for us was unexpectedly large and complicated, and we worried it might be too fragile to stand up. We sent the design to Arup, the engineering firm, for structural analysis. They reported that the aerial would have to be supported at three specific points, and it would then settle into the correct shape under its own weight."
Reblogged from laughterkey