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Sky painting

The ultimate in sky writing!
  [vote for,

Paint the Mona Lisa in the sky!

Hordes of satelites with switchable reflectors will one day paint any image you care to pay for in the night sky!

Flash rude messages (or images) at nations you don't like. No longer will you message be corupted due to wind shere, get it across as clear as the sky is.

'Sky painting' shouldn't be too hard, mass production could bring down the cost of individual satelites to very low levels, while it might be expensive to implement, advertising budgets are VERY large, and nothing on this earth can compare to the ultimate in brand placment.

Varying orbits provide an even cover of satelites, a high resolution is guaranteed and full colour should be easy.

scubadooper, May 16 2003

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       //cost of individual satelites to very low levels//   

       Let's take a geostationary orbit as an example, 35,000km up. To create an image the size of holding a postage stamp at arm's length, you'd need a square 350km to a side. I'm pretty sure no quantity-of-scale discount will make this cheap.   

       That being said, I can imagine it being possible and will give you an orbital bun.
Worldgineer, May 16 2003

       I admit it''ll be exoensive however...   

       The percentage of coverage only has an effect on the contrast ratio meaning that you actually don't need to cover 350 sq km. In addition the idea is not to reach geostationary orbit (far too expensive) but to have synchronised satelites in various low earth orbits combining to produce the image. (keeping 350 sq km of satelites in a regular pattern on a geo-stationary orbit, would not be feasible)   

       and I did say the individual cost of satelites   

       (cheers for the bun though it's always nice to know someone likes the idea!)
scubadooper, May 16 2003

       Sorry, I used 35,000 because I was search-lazy. Looks like low-earth-orbit starts at around 500 km, so you'll need a square 5 km to a side. Smaller, but still quite large.   

       I don't quite get your reasoning for the flock (may I call them a flock?) of sattelites at different orbits. Different altitudes means different speeds, and you'll never keep them in the same place.
Worldgineer, May 16 2003

       I don't like the idea of littering up the sky like this. We can see the Mona Lisa perfectly fine here on Earth. Leave the sky clear so we can see the gems that already reside there. Fishbone.   

       (Besides that, this is so ridiculously impractical and expensive to be logistically impossible.)
waugsqueke, May 16 2003

       Yep mate, that the idea.   

       A flock is probably misleading as they don't travel in groups.   

       Put enough satelites into enough orbits, map their trajectories and then combine to get the desired results. You could be advertising to half the world at any one time, the potential advertising revenue is huge!
scubadooper, May 16 2003

       [waugs] I do agree the stars are (to me) probably the most beautifl of natures spectacles, however this is only going to cover a small percentage of the sky, and isn't going to add to light polution as does all other advertising.
scubadooper, May 16 2003

       scub, perhaps a diagram? I'm still not getting it - are the orbits perpendicular so that it creates an image once per day?
Worldgineer, May 16 2003

       Using the sun as a light source, an oversized DMD array, a color wheel on an arm through which the DMD reflects and the . . . what for a projection surface? I don't think the atmosphere would work very well. Not enough density.
bristolz, May 16 2003

       No need for a projection surface [bristolz] each satelite is a pixel. As to a colour wheel, that would have to be decided by a cost analysis, it might be cheaper to pur up 3 satelites with diferent permanent filters rather than adding the mechanics
scubadooper, May 16 2003

       If these were each 4-sided (r,y,b,black) and flew in a flock, I'd be happy. As it stands, you'd have more sattelites than would fit on the surface of the earth, which is no longer possible in my mind. Bun has been removed.
Worldgineer, May 16 2003

       Well, that's just ridiculous. The density would be unachievable.
bristolz, May 16 2003

       Awww, [world] come on it's kinda obvious that you can't totaly surround the world, however you can place enough satellites into various low earth orbits (that start at about 200 km) synchronised to represent a surface of a reasonable size that will periodically flash a message across the sky.   

       Satelites are currently easy to see, and appear as a star moving quite quickly across the sky, obviously the minimum nuber of satelites needed will be the number of pixels in the picture (for an array that synchronises occasionally) hence the need for mass production, have several sets of orbits crossing at about half a dozen 'nodes' that are spaced at the classic centres of picture composition.
scubadooper, May 16 2003


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