Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Morse Code from the Sky

Conceptual view of Morse code message from FITSAT-1
(Courtesy FITSAT website)
Skywatchers may get a unique treat from the heavens during December, courtesy of the students and professors at Japan's Fukuoka Institute of Technology who built the FITSAT-1 satellite, also known as Niwaka. In addition to a CW beacon and data links, the satellite features an array of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that controllers hope will be visible from Earth with the naked eye. According to the AMSAT News Service, Professor Takushi Tanaka, JA6AVG, said his team plans to flash "HI THIS NIWAKA JAPAN" in Morse Code from orbit on Christmas Eve (December 24) and was planning to conduct tests throughout December. So keep an eye to the sky for messages from above in Morse!