Radio Frequency Module Integration
The Europa Clipper radio frequency (RF) panel is mechanically installed near the top of the propulsion module cylinders in a cleanroom at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland. The panel hosts the RF subsystem electronics as well as an intricate routing network of switches, filters and waveguides that carry the RF signal between the electronics and eight antennas distributed around Europa Clipper’s propulsion module and avionics vault. Two APL-built Frontier Radios, four power conditioners, and two radiation monitors are installed in the RF mini-vault, which can be seen at the bottom of the RF panel, to help shield them from the harsh radiation around Jupiter. Three antenna assemblies will be installed on the propulsion module and the avionics vault and connected to the RF panel for performance testing before being shipped to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.