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TOP > Report & Column > The Forefront of Space Science > 2014 > ARTSAT: Art and Satellite Project

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During the development of INVADER, one team member asked, 展hat comes after INVADER?・At the time, before the completion and launch of INVADER, I thought that it was too early to say. Without thinking I replied, 的 want to send an art product into deep space like Voyager.・Later, JAXA called for proposals for small sub-payloads to piggyback on the asteroid explorer HAYABUSA 2 to be launched by H-II A at the end of 2014. Taking this rare opportunity, we submitted another plan to JAXA. It is the deep-space sculpture ARTSAT2: DESPATCH*5, the second ARTSAT project selected for piggyback payload. DESPATCH is an 兎nvironmental art work in space,・about 50 cm in envelope area and about 30 kg in weight, and will be released into deep space along an earth-escape trajectory.

DESPATCH has two missions, art and technology. The first artistic mission is to create a 電eep space sculpture・as environmental space art. This will be achieved by developing and fabricating the payload art work DESPATCH and putting it to earth-escape trajectory.

Figure 3. External outline image of deep space sculpture

Like INVADER, DESPATCH will also carry Morikawa. It will produce poems by the algorithmic approach, using data from various sensors installed on the payload, and transmit them as CW beacons. This second artistic mission is the implementation of remote creation in deep space by transmitting the poems created by program code.

Radio from deep space is very faint. To solve this problem, we need the cooperation of amateur radio fans across the world, not just the ground station at Tama Art University. By gathering data received by many small antennas on the ground via the Internet, we will conduct an experiment of 田ollaborative diversity communication・to restore the data transmitted from the far distance. This is the third technological mission, an attempt to aggregate faint radio signals received from the far distance by many small antennas almost equivalent to a huge antenna.

We will use a 3D printer, currently receiving a lot of attention in various fields, to produce the shaped part based on a spiral motif. The fourth technological mission is to conduct a demonstration of 3D printing on the spacecraft and to attempt to apply this to the expansion of freedom of design/manufacturing techniques for general spacecraft.

To achieve the above, DESPATCH is designed focusing on the following policies, which are a little different from those of general spacecraft.
(1) Satellite life after entering the trajectory is about one week until arriving at about 3 million km from the earth.
(2) Electric power is primary battery alone. By excluding a solar cell, we intend to increase freedom of configuration as a creative work.
(3) Since the payload functions autonomously, communication is by CW-beacon transmission only.

Many people think that art is the creation of something beautiful, mysterious, or enjoyable. Art is not magic or entertainment, however. We did not start this project because we wanted to do something artistic using satellites and spacecraft. We believe art is also the 兎xploration of what is in fact art・in our society. New arts hide in new materials and media, new forms of expression, and new ways of practice. The task of artists is to find them and reveal them to the public. After the launch of INVADER, we will move on to the planning of ARTSAT3 and ARTSAT4. We will keep you informed of our progress via the ARTSAT project website*1 or Facebook page*6. We look forward to your participation in and support of the ARTSAT project.

(Akihiro KUBOTA)

Figure 4. 3D printer output of 1/5 model of DESPATCH

*1 open new window http://artsat.jp
*2 INteractive Vehicle for Art and Design Experimental Research
*3 Named after the Morikawa restaurant in Hongo where we had many discussions about the ARTSAT project.
*4 open new window ARTSAT API
*5 DEep SPace Amateur Troubadour’s CHallenge
*6 open new window https://www.facebook.com/artsat

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