Feeds

Japanese cubesat to flash Earth with Morse message

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope, it's a small metal box

Boost IT visibility and business value

Scan the night sky next month and you may witness a rather unusual phenomenon – an tiny Japanese satellite using LEDs to beam a Morse code message earthwards.

The message will come from FITSAT-1, or Niwaka, a 10cm cubed satellite weighing just 1.3kg and recently released from the from the International Space Station.

Built by the Fukuoka Institute of Technology in southern Japan, the box will beam the Morse code message “Hi this is Niwaka Japan” onto the sky.

Observers will see green dots and dashes in the northern hemisphere, where people will see the "front" of the satellite, and red in the southern hemisphere, where they see the "back", according to AFP.

The project was originally conceived of to broadcast the message only above Japan, but enthusiasts from across the globe have now apparently requested the satellite make an appearance in their neck of the woods.

"There is no practical aim to this, but it is a fun experiment that everybody can join," Fukuoka Institute professor Takushi Tanaka told the newswire.

"A man in Slovakia who has laser beam said he would flash back if he sees the message from space. He wants the satellite to take pictures of his beam and send them to Earth.”

The project will apparently also aim to test a high speed data transmitter by sending images taken by an on-board camera down to Earth.

Exact timings have yet to be announced on the Institute’s web site, although Tanaka warned that a successful sighting will, of course, depend on the weather. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.