[CQ-Contest] Japan's LED-stacked cubesat will burn Morse code into the heavens

Ken Widelitz widelitz at gte.net
Fri Oct 5 16:26:48 EDT 2012

If you thought cloud writing was cool, then how about a message from space
burnt into the night sky? A group of unassuming cubesats recently left the
comfort of the ISS and joined Earth's orbit - among them was FITSAT-1 (aka
Niwaka), a four-inch-cubed Japanese satellite covered in high-powered LEDs.
Its mission is to broadcast the message "Hi this is Niwaka Japan" in Morse
code, using bursts of intense light to draw dots and dashes across the
heavens. FITSAT-1 was originally planned to appear only over Japan, but a
flurry of interest means it'll be touring the globe, starting next month.
It'll also find time for its studies, beaming VGA images snapped with an
onboard camera back to Earth, to test a high-speed data transmitter. While
its creator, Professor Takushi Tanaka, has said the Morse broadcast has "no
practical aim", we think it would make a good emergency beacon for natural
disasters (or, more worryingly, alien invasions). FITSAT-1 will try and
fulfill all requests for appearances, but it can't control the weather, so
you'd better hope for a clear night if it visits your part of the world. If
you're as excited as we are to see it in action, bookmark the source links
below, which should be updated with its orbit schedule in the near future.
And, even if you don't speak Japanese, the video after the break will give
you an idea of what to expect.Continue reading Japan's LED-stacked cubesat
will burn Morse code into the heavensFiled under: Science, AltJapan's
LED-stacked cubesat will burn Morse code into the heavens originally
appeared on Engadget on Fri, 05 Oct 2012 12:53:00 EDT.

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