Feb 232006

ST5 Satellite Antenna

BoingBoing.com is reporting that NASA will make history next month when it launches three Space Technology (ST5) satellites into orbit on board a Pegasus XL rocket. It is not the launch itself that is noteworthy, but rather a relatively small, but very important component of the satellites: their antennas. Not much bigger than a quarter and looking a lot like a randomly bent paper clip, the ST5’s antenna are actually the result of 80 computers running a “survival of the fittest” evolutionary algorithm in parallel to calculate the most efficient design for the space antenna. The March launch will mark the first time that a device designed by AI will have flown and be put into operation in space.

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