NHK TV Video of Amateur Radio CubeSat FITSAT-1 (NIWAKA)

An English language NHK TV news story covers the amateur radio CubeSat FITSAT-1 also known as NIWAKA which launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on July 21.

Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG and FITSAT

Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG and FITSAT

FITSAT-1 has multiple downlinks, CW on 437.250 MHz, AX.25 on 437.445 MHz and a 4 watt high speed data transmitter on 5840 MHz capable of sending a 640 by 480 pixel VGA JPEG image in 6 seconds.

In addition it carries high power LEDs that will be driven with 100W pulses to produce extremely bright flashes. These, it is hoped, will be observable by the unaided eye or with small binoculars. Both the 5840 MHz and optical downlinks have a high power consumption so they may only be activated when in range of the ground station in Japan. It use a neodymium magnet for attitude control.

The CubeSat will remain on the ISS until September when it will be deployed by Japanese astronaut and radio amateur Akihiko Hoshide KE5DNI using the ISS Kibo robot arm.

FITSAT-1 (NIWAKA) is mounted in a JEM-Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) with the amateur radio TechEdSat and F-1 CubeSats. In a second deployment pod are WeWish and a scientific 2U CubeSat Raiko. The CubeSats will be deployed into a 400 km orbit and should have a lifetime of 3 or 4 months before re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere and burning up.

In this video NHK interviews Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG and students from the Fukuoka Institute of Technology (FIT) about the project.

Watch NHK – Tiny Satellites, Big Possibilities

FITSAT-1 information, pictures and deployment movie http://www.fit.ac.jp/~tanaka/fitsat.shtml

Kibo Robot Arm http://kibo.jaxa.jp/en/about/kibo/rms/

FITSAT-1 plans to use LED’s to signal in Morse code