Share this project


Share this project

Capturing the Ionosphere: Ground Station Calliope's video poster

We'll convert the ionosphere to music for you, you support us by buying a mission patch or flight pin! Read more

pledged of $2,600 goal
seconds to go


This project was successfully funded on May 21, 2011.

We'll convert the ionosphere to music for you, you support us by buying a mission patch or flight pin!

About this project

The short version: buy mission patches and flight pins and you are supporting a home-built orbiting satellite for converting the ionosphere to music for you and everyone to listen to!

'Project Calliope', the satellite, is nearly built.  But 'Calliope' as in the "how the heck does everyone reach it and use it", that's the puzzle.  By helping in this fundraiser, you can not only get cool space gear, but ensure Calliope gets heard and plays a role in our new space age.

if you're into crafts and Esty, you can get cool space patches for a real mission

if you're a DIY or Maker, you can help back a fellow Maker who is giving blueprints out so others can make their own

if you're a space fan, contributing makes you part of the new private sector space race-- and gets you unique mission patches

if you're a tech entrepreneur, participating is a quick way to get goodwill and stealth into people to your venture

if you're a musician, you can ensure you get cool tracks from space

if you're a relative, remember, i know where you live

and if you're a dreamer, be part of this dream.  If anyone can get into space, then eventually, everyone can get into space.

Ever wonder how active space is?  Soon, you'll be able to hear it.  In 2011, one of the most novel musical instruments will be launched into space: Project Calliope'Capturing the Ionosphere' is the effort to capture and record what Calliope 'hears' for its brief 6-12 week life, and bring that to musicians.  Called sonification, it lets you hear the activity of the ionosphere, that layer of space where low-earth satellites fly and where the auroras occur.

This kickstarter project will bridge the sensors up there and the musicians down here, creating Ground Station Calliope.  I already built the satellite tech side of the project, this is the art side.  Capture the tracks, work with musicians to use them, and help distribute their works.  It'll involve buying high end ham radio gear, building new web tools to provide the tracks, and creating a musician community to share it.

All the ionosphere sonification tracks will be available, royalty-free, to anyone who wishes to use them, via  We'll promote the music efforts of people using, reusing, and remixing the space tracks.

We're offering Calliope space launch flight memorabilia to make this royalty-free remixable ionospheric music open to all.  For the first time ever, we're offering Project Calliope commemorative Flight Pins, Mission Patches, and even a complete flight-spare quality skeleton build of the actual satellite.

If you're a musician, support Calliope.  If you're a space fan, here's one-of-a-kind space memorabilia-- pins, patches, and models-- of a pioneering DIY space venture.

The Flight pin:

The Mission patches:

Threshold: $2,600.  The money raised from this kickstarter will go, as mentioned, towards the radio costs for a Base Station Calliope (est cost: about $2K), towards the web tools to provide musicians with the tracks, and to costs in coordinating with musicans and with disseminating the Calliope music tracks in general.

Threshold: $4,000.  If this kickstarter recieves over $4,000, as a bonus and in celebration I will release an original "New Space Race" card game as a freely downloadable PDF, and send email contributors a link for their copy of it.  Play against others in the race to build your own rocket company and get to orbit first!  Based on the real-life experiences in launching Calliope, seasoned with my experience as a game designer, this fun game will let you channel your own inner rocket scientist!

Project Calliope-- music from space, anticipating its launch in 2011, and with new project details every week at  We're in a new space age-- be part of it!


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

Ask a question


  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    9 backers

    All contributors at $5 or more get listed as a Project Calliope supporter on the mission website.

  • You selected
    Pledge $12 or more

    17 backers

    The Flight Pin, a limited edition 1" etched enamel gold-plated brass pin representing your support of the Project Calliope mission.

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    12 backers

    Mission Patch #1, 'Calliope over Africa', a 4" embroidered full-color patch. Put it next to your Apollo and Soyuz mission patches, or let it stand on its own to mark your support of Calliope and the new space age.

  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    8 backers

    Mission Patch #2, 'Calliope over the Americas', a 4" embroidered full-color patch. Pair with patch #1 or wear it solo to mark your support of Calliope and the new space age.

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    11 backers

    Get all 3-- both flight patches #1 and #2 plus the flight pin.

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    8 backers Limited (16 left of 24)

    Have your name engraved onto the actual Calliope satellite instrument plate. Be part of the actual physical satellite, then burn up on reentry in an ecologically friendly manner.

  • You selected
    Pledge $120 or more

    2 backers

    A 6-pack of patches! Get 3 'Calliope over Africa' and 3 'Calliope over America' patches, plus 6 of the flight pins. Ideal for a company or a conference looking for unique rewards to give out.

  • You selected
    Pledge $400 or more

    0 backers

    90 minutes of consulting on your space project, via Skype, email, or telecon setup of your choice.

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,250 or more

    0 backers

    A working flight-spare Calliope-type skeleton/model, built using flight-ready PCBs. DIYers wanting their own satellite can just add electronics and the IOS official parts and it's launchable, or it makes an awesome collectible.

  • You selected
    Pledge $2,800 or more

    0 backers

    Your very own Space Scientist will present a 2 hour talk or a 4 hour build workshop anywhere in the continental US within a 2 hr drive of a major airport.

Funding period

- (45 days)