Mini satellite can create visible Morse code across the night sky

A couple of months ago we reported on the ArduSat project, which aimed to enable anyone to control a CubeSat orbiting space. Using similar technology, the FITSAT-1 developed by researchers at the Fukuoka Institute of Technology in Japan houses LEDs that can create a morse code message that can be seen from earth.

Just as people have used airplanes to emblazon their messages across the sky, the small 10cm-cubed device – also known as the Niwaka – is fitted with numerous high-power LEDs which flash on and off to create Morse code. The first message, intended to be broadcast over Japan only, will be ‘Hi this is Niwaka Japan’, according to reports. However, due to the news of the launch spreading across the internet, the researchers plan to tour the FITSAT-1 across the globe. Its schedule is expected to be updated on the FIT website in the near future. The video below explains more about the project (in Japanese):

Although there is currently no specific purpose for the device, it is easy to see how, combined with other features, emergency messages or environmental data could be easily made visible by anyone using the satellite, clear skies permitting. Are there any uses for the CubeSat still to be explored?


Spotted by: Tracy Chong

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