The NASA Spaceflight article Arianespace press onward with dual-passenger Ariane 5 launch shows a photo of Intelsat 39 during testing. The dish reflectors are strangely shaped:
- rather than being round or square, their edges are irregular, like the coast line of an island
- the surface contours also appear bent and irregular, rather than having a pure parabolic shape.
and they are densely covered in little white dots, at least during this testing phase.
Question: Why the strange shape (especially the irregular edges), and what are all of those little white dots?
Image source and credit: Intelsat
Here's another example of "white dots", these kinds of images are common.