You thought you’ve seen all types of advertising right? How about advertising that appears in the night sky then fades away, is this even possible?
Well, that’s the idea from a Russian startup StartRocket that is working on a solution to bring billboard type advertisements to the night sky. Named Orbital Display the advertisements are brought into a low earth orbit using very small satellites called CubeSats.
They are in orbit 280 miles or so above sea level and contain Mylar sauls that span 30 feet or so in diameter. These sails catch and reflect the sun’s light that in turn creates a pixelated matrix. StartRocket aims to use this all-new tech to display a Coca-Cola logo as well as many other brand emblems as a demo, they also state that the solution could be used to display urgent messages from governments during emergencies.
StartRocket’s CEO Vladilen Sitnikov who in his own words is ‘an advertising guy with a crazy idea’ has already approached a private Moscow University to help him work out the technical details. A prototype is in development. Plans to launch a test could be as soon as this summer with full ‘live’ execution planned for sometime in 2021.
Sitnikov said in a video interview: “It’s human nature to advertise everything… Brands are a beautiful part of humankind.” Modestly comparing himself to the likes of Elon Musk’s Space X exploits, Sitnikov is thought to have been inspired by age-old banner towing aeroplanes.
Of course, there has already been some negativity from astronomers alike, attacking yet more light pollution and possible disruption of radio signals. Many feel yet more satellites will add to the ‘space debris’ already orbiting our planet. Many astronomers are not happy that the satellites will inhibit Earth’s telescopes from seeing real sources of deep space light due to the added light they produce high in the atmosphere.
Naturally, the Orbital Display can only be seen when the viewer is in darkness, also the satellites’ orbit may also limit when and how long the advertisements can be shown across the globe.
But even these sceptics have declared that this project or one like it is inevitable. The wait for sky advertisements may not be very long at all!