Google WiFi Balloons For Project Loon Being Tested In California

/ 3 years ago


Google’s Project Loon is now being tested in California according to BGR. Despite Bill Gates’ criticism of the project Google are pushing ahead with the project. Google’s Project Loon will improve global internet access by making WiFi available nearly everywhere. Google’s project loon works like this:

Project Loon seeks to put a network of high altitude (20 km) balloons over the world to provide it with wireless internet everywhere. The balloons they intend to use are about 15 metres in diameter but once in the sky they can only be seen with telescopes. Google intends’s to use high altitude winds as a steering mechanism to ensure that all these balloons stay connected, in effect they would be “sailing the stratosphere”.

The complex network which creates the internet connection works by broadcasting the internet from local ground based “internet stations” up to the balloons which then broadcast it back down to special antennas that people can have on their homes. These antennas point upwards to the balloons to receive the connection. The wireless equipment Google are using has been designed to only work within its own Project Loon, as to minimise interference and maximise bandwidth.

The balloons are solar powered and controlled at a central “mission control”. Google has to work very closely with air traffic controls to ensure minimal risk when putting these balloons up or down. Furthermore Google is creating collection points to bring these balloons down for repairs and maintenance. They aim to have bands of Balloons at different latitudes to get the best coverage of the whole world since the Stratospheric winds generally travel West to East.

Image courtesy of Google (Youtube)

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