Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Satellite Billboard

Grid of stationary satellites act as giant LCD screen
  (+2, -6)
(+2, -6)
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You put a grid of stationary satellites in orbit and let each one pulse a different color so that combined they act as a giant LCD type screen that can show advertisements, news etc. In theory it would be visible in the night sky from the ground.

I thought of this about 15 years ago and have been sharing the idea with friends and family since then. Noone ever takes me seriously. Thought you guys might enjoy it more than they did.

wellsdm, Feb 10 2009

problems of space junk--- http://news.nationa...119_space_junk.html
[xandram, Feb 10 2009]

Noone... http://www.sleepyjo...peternoonepage.html
...in particular [coprocephalous, Feb 11 2009]

Power your spacecraft display... http://www.tethers.com/TT.html
...for a little while at least. [coprocephalous, Feb 11 2009]

Gratuitous self promoting cross post Near_20Earth_20Orbi...ation_20Corporation
"We'll take care of it" is the motto of my local dumpster-emptying service. They do leave some messes... [normzone, Feb 11 2009]


       oh no, we don't need any more junk up there!!
not that it's such a terrible idea, but I saw a report about how much space junk is actually orbitting the earth, and it's already a dilemma!
btw- Welcome to the halfbakery!!
xandram, Feb 10 2009

       You could have just one, but let it pulse red white and blue. It could be known as the Uncle Sam satellite. Americans could breathe a sigh of pride on wathcing it pass overhead. Evildoers could wave their fists. The French could fart in its general direction.
bungston, Feb 10 2009

       //You could have just one, but let it pulse red white and blue. It could be known as the Uncle Sam satellite.//
sp: The 'De Gaulle Satellite'; you seem unaware that satellites were invented by the French.
gnomethang, Feb 10 2009

       I can just here the screams from every astronomer who looks into his enormous telescope to see...   

       Or the astrologers who now have to explain what it means to be born under the sign of McDonald's rising.
MisterQED, Feb 11 2009

//You put a grid of stationary satellites//

       You mean they're in geosynchronous orbit. And I suppose that they're rigidly lashed together, because independent orbits wouldn't keep them spaced out in the longitudinal direction. Since they're more than 26 thousands miles up, the billboard would have to be a hundreds of miles across if you'd have any hope of seeing it. Building it would be the greatest undertaking of all time.
ldischler, Feb 11 2009

       i suppose if you could figure out a way to fire enough power (say, electrons) at the upper atmosphere, and do it in a coordinated fashion, compensating for the earth's magnetic field, then perhaps we'd have the first aurora tv system - a giant green-screen.   

       i think LEO satellites would work better though, and they'd probably need at least 1.21 jiggawatts of nuke power each to produce anything worth watching.   

       i propose "hello world" as the first image.
TIB, Feb 11 2009

       //You put a grid of stationary satellites in orbit //
Does anyone know how far above/below the equatorial plane it is feasible to maintain a geostationary orbit? This would limit the vertical resolution of the display.
[EDIT] Would there have to be two of these, one for each hemisphere?
coprocephalous, Feb 11 2009

       You don't need the satellites in the same position at all, just at the same height. So you would have a random cloud of lights that can change colour.   

       Each part would relay their relative position to the broadcasting system and a computer on the ground can work out which lights need to flash when and what colour, in order to get a picture.   

       Each part would have a transmitter/receiver and a light. A battery and a solar pannel. Solar panel charges battery and at night the light illuminates the solar panel so that we may see it.   

       These things are small and easy and cheap to produce. All we need is billions of them.   

       Can be launched with a BFG
zeno, Feb 11 2009

       If these things were in geostationary orbit you would need more than just two for everyone to be able to see one. You would need a network because such a satellite in position over London, say, simply cannot be seen from all other locations in the Northern hemisphere.   

       I like the idea of an American satellite showing the colours of the Union Jack, by the way. I guess it would be an act of thanks for Arthur C. Clarke inventing geostationary orbit!
Aristotle, Feb 11 2009

       //Arthur C. Clarke//
sp. "Herman Potoènik"
coprocephalous, Feb 11 2009

       Tsk. You'll be crediting Sir George Cayley's glider as the first manned flight next ...
Aristotle, Feb 11 2009

       Don't be silly, the Montgolfiers were years ahead of him.
coprocephalous, Feb 11 2009

       For a good time google "Moon TV Jepson" and learn why large flashy things high up is a Really Bad Idea...
Steamboat, Mar 10 2009


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