The 34-meter HEF antenna incorporates recent advances in antenna design and mechanics. The mount is an azimuth-elevation type and operates in both axes at 0.40 degree/second.
The reflector surface is precision-shaped for maximum signal-gathering capability.
The design of the 34-meter BWG antenna is based on that of the 34-meter High-Efficiency antenna, and provides the same basic performance parameters.
A major change in the design is the addition of five precision radio frequency mirrors that reflect radio signals along a beam-waveguide tube from the vertex of the antenna to the below-ground pedestal equipment room. This design allows:
- The relocation of sensitive electronics from a feed cone in the center of the main reflector to the pedestal equipment room
- Easier access for maintenance and modification (such as adding new electronics for transmitting and receiving at additional radio frequency bands when needed to support future deep space missions.