As well as a 437.250 MHz CW beacon, the amateur radio CubeSat FITSAT-1 (aka NIWAKA) will carry an Optical Communications experiment that aims to write Morse Code across the night sky.
The satellite is fitted with a bank of high power LEDs that will be driven with 200W pulses to produce extremely bright flashes that may be visible to the unaided eye.
FITSAT-1 is planned to deploy from the second International Space Station (ISS) J-SSOD pod at around 15:40-45 UT on Thursday, October 4 along with F-1 and TechEdSat.
Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG provides more information on this innovative satellite which can transmit on 437.250 MHz and 437.445 MHz ( both +/- 10 kHz Doppler) and 5840.0 MHz (+/- 134 kHz Doppler).
FITSAT-1 (NIWAKA) is a 1U CubeSat (10x10x10cm) developed by students at the Fukuoka Institute of Technology (FIT).
The primary mission is to transmit 115.2 kbps digital data on 5840.0 MHz using a transmitter capable of 4 watts output. The data rate is significantly higher than that of previous amateur radio satellites and will enable a VGA-size (640×480 pixel) JPEG image to be transmitted in only 5 to 6 seconds.
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 5.8 GHz parabola antenna. This is a basic experiment to investigate the possibility of optical communication with satellites.
The 437.250 MHz CW beacon signal should be activated 30 min after deployment. Please send the signal report, telemetry data (if possible) and your postal address to email@example.com and also cc to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive a verification (QSL) card [presumably electronic]. Initially the orbit will be almost the same as the ISS.
In addition to the CW beacon there is an AX.25 1200 bps packet radio transceiver on 437.445 MHz for telemetry and command purposes.
The FITSAT-1 CW beacon frequency 437.250MHz is on the same frequency as the PRISM micro-satellite built by students at Tokyo University. Please confirm that the CW starts “HI DE NIWAKA JAPAN …”
HB9FFH has made a telemetry decoder for FITSAT-1 available from the Carpcomm site - http://carpcomm.com/satellite/fitsat1
A telemetry decoder for Windows is available - http://turing.cs.fit.ac.jp/~fitsat/CWFM/FITSAT_CW_Analyzer1.zip
Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG will announce news about FITSAT-1 such as the LED experiments - http://www.fit.ac.jp/~tanaka/fitsat.shtml
Watch the deployment live - http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv
Four other CubeSats are being deployed with FITSAT-1. Further details including frequency and tracking information can be found - http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=10119