FITSAT-1 to Write Morse Code Across The Night Sky

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

The Amateur Radio CubeSat FITSAT-1 will carry an Optical Communications experiment that aims to write Morse Code across the night sky.

Kibo Robot Arm CubeSat Deployment

Kibo Robot Arm CubeSat Deployment

This innovative satellite also plans to transmit 115.2 kbps digital data in the Amateur Satellite Service 5.8 GHz band using a transmitter capable of 2 watts output.

FITSAT-1 (aka NIWAKA) is a 1U CubeSat (10*10*10cm) developed by students at the Fukuoka Institute of Technology (FIT).

In July 2012 it should be carried to the International Space Station (ISS) in the HTV-3 cargo vessel.  FITSAT-1 will then be deployed from the ISS around September by Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide KE5DNI using the Kibo robot arm.

The main mission will be to demonstrate high speed data transfer from a satellite, it can transmit a VGA-size (640×480 pixel) JPEG photograph in only 5 to 6 seconds.

Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG and FITSAT

Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG and FITSAT

The second mission is to determine if a satellite can be made to appear as an “artificial star” using high-output LEDs in flash mode. The light from this flash will be received by the ground station, which has a telescope with photo-multiplier linked to a 5.8GHz parabola antenna. This is a basic experiment to investigate the possibility of optical communication with satellites.

A UHF AX25 1k2baud transceiver will be carried for telemetry and telecommand purposes and a UHF CW beacon will also be provided. It will be deployed along with the satellites RAIKO and WE-WISH, F-1 and TechEdSat into a 350x350km 51.6deg inclination orbit.

The following downlink frequencies have been coordinated by the IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel: CW 437.250 MHz, FM 437.445 MHz, High speed data 5840.00 MHz.

FITSAT-1 information, pictures and deployment movie

Kibo Robot Arm

IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel pages hosted by AMSAT-UK