They say music is a universal language, so we made a littleBits circuit that demonstrates how it possible to play music from Earth on the International Space Station. NASA uses electromagnetic waves to communicate with satellites orbiting Earth. Our miniature version of the ISS wirelessly receives sound data through light.
How Does It Work?
A microphone module converts the digitized music from an MP3 player into a series of light wave pulses through an IR LED. These light pulses are decoded by a light sensor on the ISS, and converted to sound waves by a speaker module.
You can also build a desktop experimental model using either a bright LED or an IR LED for different effects.
What happens when you move the light Bit further away from the Light Sensor? What happens if you block the Light Sensor with your hand? What if you use a thin sheet of tissue paper? How does that affect the digital signal?
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.