Just as vacuum chambers and, special environments can be necessary to make sure that satellites built on Earth can function in space.
That's exactly what you see in this photo released Thursday by the European Space Agency. It shows the interior of a room with 30-foot-high walls called the Maxwell Test Chamber. It's located in the ESA's facility in the Dutch city of Noordwijk at the largest satellite-testing facility in Europe.
The room has metal walls that convert it into a Faraday cage, a structure that shields the inside from any external electromagnetic signals. In addition, the walls are coated in hundreds of foam pyramids that absorb sound as well as any other signals produced inside the room, "mimicking the infinite void of space," according to the ESA.
This creates an environment in which researchers can test a satellite to see if its equipment all works together or if there's any internal interference.
Faraday cages are named for electrically minded scientist Michael Faraday, who invented and tested out the idea in the early 1800s. They work on the principle that an electromagnetic discharge will travel along the outside of a conductive cage, keeping the inside free from the current.
Airplanes act as Faraday cages, protecting passengers when the plane is struck by lightning. An artist even created a wearable build your own cage with some cardboard and aluminum foil (and a few other things), or you can just use a trash can as a makeshift way to protect your electronic devices if your neighborhood ever gets hit with an electromagnetic pulse device.. You can