DIY Satellite Will Blink Morse Code for All the World to See

Mark Frauenfelder

Mark Frauenfelder is a research director at Institute for the Future, the founding editor-in-chief of Make magazine, the co-founder of Boing Boing, the editor-in-chief of Cool Tools.

248 Articles

By Mark Frauenfelder

Mark Frauenfelder is a research director at Institute for the Future, the founding editor-in-chief of Make magazine, the co-founder of Boing Boing, the editor-in-chief of Cool Tools.

248 Articles

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Professor Takushi Tanaka and his team at the Fukuoka Institute of Technology built a 10 centimeter cube-shaped micro-satellite called the FITSAT-1. It was deployed from the International Space Station on October 5, 2012 and is currently whizzing over our heads at an elevation of 242 miles. It’s equipped with high-powered LEDs are blinking the following message: …. .. / – …. .. … / .. … / -. .. .– .- -.- .- / .— .- .–. .- -. (“Hi this is Niwaka Japan”).

Element14 has more:

Those interested in seeing the code flashed across the sky the satellite will be on a trajectory of 51.6 degrees south latitude and 51.6 degrees north latitude (from the equator) which is almost identical to that of the ISS (which I guess you could use as a point of reference). Those interested in hearing the Morse code and have the necessary technology can tune in to the satellites frequency beacon of 437.250MHz. The fly-over schedule for dates or times will be posted on the Fukuoka Institute of Technology’s website sometime later this month (October, 2012).

In case you are wondering, the word Niwaka, in a local dialect of southwestern Japan, refers to impromptu comical dialog done while wearing a peculiar sad-eyed mask.

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