What Will Project Loon Be Used For?
Project Loon will bring Internet access to people living in remote areas and regions where forests, mountains or other landforms can block broadband signals. Using solar powered Hot Air balloons
Most of us take our Internet connections for granted. After all, getting online is usually just a smartphone away. Internet connectivity is built into so many devices: tablets, iPods and even some household appliances can now go online.
But with such simple and immediate access, it’s easy to forget that not everybody is as hooked up as we are.In fact,According to Google, for 2 out of every 3 people on Earth, "a fast, affordable Internet connection is still out of reach." Project Loon is an early, inspiring attempt to deliver reliable connectivity to those areas where it does not exist or is prohibitively expensive - the Southern Hempishere, in particular.
This is the situation Google hopes to change with Project Loon.No one can accuse Google of not thinking big. Project Loon, Google's audacious "moonshot" vision to bring mobile Internet connectivity to the billions without - via balloons - is one of the company's biggest ideas ever. It's madness, but it just might work. The balloons are made of polyethylene plastic. They are approximately 15 meters in diameter and the entire apparatus is about 12 meters tall. Each balloon is powered via solar panels. and is networked to one another with a radio transceiver as in a mesh, designed to ensure signal reliability. A second transceiver keeps the balloon in contact with a network station on the ground and beams an Internet signal to specialized antennas that can be placed on homes, much like a very small satellite TV receiver.
There is also a back-up transceiver and a GPS on each balloon, so Google can monitor a balloons location. And each balloon will carry weather instruments, too.
Google ran its first public test , in New Zealand, sending 30 balloons into the sky and offering 60 lucky volunteers 15 minutes of balloon-based Internet access. Smaller, private tests were conducted in California and possibly elsewhere.
The company says that "over time" it intends to set up similar pilots in countries with the same latitude as New Zealand (40th parallel south). It hasn't provided any timeline for these pilots.
A Project Loon balloon sails above a snowy New Zealand mountain range, like a jellyfish in the sky.If Project Loon becomes a success, where does that lead Google to? Here's what they had to say at forbes.com
Google will steal the ‘connecting the world’ crown from Facebook by the end of this decade!
We believe it's possible to create a ring of balloons that fly around the globe on the stratospheric winds and provide Internet access to the earth below. Balloons present some really hard science problems, but we're excited about the progress so far.To learn more, visit: http://google.com/loon.
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Project Loon BALLOON-POWERED INTERNET FOR EVERYONE: "Connecting the world with hot air balloons" The situation Google hopes to change with Project Loon