This video introduces "Universe Masat", the visualisation project of the nonstop telemetric data stream of the first Hungarian satellite called Masat-1. This artwork by Brigitta Zics and Pengfei Zhang creates an imaginary universe to render the invisible life of the satellite that was launched into low Earth orbit on 13 February 2012.
Orbiting around the Earth three times a day, the small cube sends nonstop telemetric data to a tracking centre in Budapest. The aim of Universe Masat is to make visible and accessible the complex mechanisms of a rather simple looking object (a cube) that was tasked to orbit around our planet.
While the visual elements of this universe dynamically transform themselves, often displaying radical on-board changes of Masat (for example temperature of the on-board and outside solar panels) it also shows any changes to the atmosphere (e.g, a high battery temperature suggests a proximity to the sun rather being in the shadow of the Earth).
Universe Masat has been ‘visually expanding’ from the minute Masat’s was launched in February until its unavoidable end when it enters the Earth’s atmosphere.
The project is a collaboration between Budapest University of Technology and Economics, and Newcastle University, Culture Lab.
Video and illustrations: Newcastle University, Culture Lab. Launch photo: Attila Nagy.