Ever wondered if a star shining bright in the sky could communicate with you? Well, that could soon become a reality if the results of a study on space advertising are to be believed. Researchers at Space Center, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) have studied the feasibility of space advertising, concluding that despite appearing to be an unrealistic idea, “space advertising turns out to have a potential for commercial viability”.
The science and other stuff to know
The concept of space advertising revolves around a network of complex satellites that reflect pixel images that can be seen from the ground. From Earth, the reflections would appear as a collection of luminescent stars formed into an image that the advertisers wish to project, such as the shape of a famous brand’s logo.
Many tech startups find themselves interested in the idea due to the massive coverage it could provide; however, concerns have remained about the massive cost of infrastructure that must be built up in the space, as well as the following feasibility of the cost invested to run advertisements.
However, a detailed analysis conducted in a study led by Shamil Biktimirov has now shown that such a mission could be feasible. The analysis considered factors like as fuel costs, consumer population, and existing advertising costs, among others, and concluded that the mission could be launched for $65 million and make economic sense.
Biktimirov’s team had earlier proposed the idea of space advertising using a formation of miniature satellites called CubeSats. However, the team focused on the “business side” of things this time, according to a Skoltech press statement.
“We show that space advertising based on 50 or more small satellites flying in formation could be economically viable. The key concerns are maximizing overall mission duration and a satellite’s footprint area — the scope of where it can reach to project a ‘pixel’ that would be part of the image in the sky,” Biktimirov explained.
The team’s model advises selecting the most popular city and displaying one ad for one minute before switching to the next, calculating that daily profits may reach $2 million at the most.
It is a fact that novel approaches in advertising leave a lasting impact on viewers and give invaluable mileage to brands, which is why advertisers keep looking for innovative ways to project brands. Space advertising is a similar concept that is certain to garner the interest of both brands and marketing professionals looking to capture eyeballs.
Although the idea plans to brighten up the night sky with advertisements, some are concerned about the potential light pollution the plan may cause. Biktimirov’s team counter the criticism by claiming that the satellites’ reliance on sunlight to reflect the advertisements will only make the ad reflections possible at sunset and sunrise, leaving no room for night demonstrations and light pollution.
But only time will tell if the plan will be able to see the light of day.