What is a 'Project Loon' ?
'Project Loon' is a network of balloons travelling on the edge of space, designed to connect people in rural and remote areas, help fill gaps, and bring people back after disasters.
Many of us think of the Internet as a Global community. But two thirds of the worlds population does not yet have internet access.
'Project Loon' balloons float in the stratosphere, twice as high as airplanes and the weather. In the stratosphere there are many layers of winds varies in the direction and speed. Loon balloons go where they're needed by rising or descending into the layer of wind blowing in the desired direction of travel.
By partnering with Telecommunications to share cellular spectrum Loon has enabled people to connect to the balloon network directly from their phones and other LTE - enabled devices. The signal is then passed across the balloon network and back down to the global Earth.
Google suggests that Project Loon would be a cheaper solution than installing fibre optic cables or building mobile phone masts across all of Indonesia's islands, which contain jungles and mountains.
It says the scheme would help address the fact that more than 100 million people out of the country's 255 millions strong population remain unconnected.
How does 'Project Loon' works ?
i. Internet giant Google is working with the government on a pilot project for providing Internet connectivity by using large balloons.
ii. Google, under its ‘Project Loon’, is using big balloons floating at a height of 20 kilometers above earth surface for transmission of Internet services. It has already tested this technology in New Zealand, California (the US) and Brazil.
iii. Google may initially partner with BSNL for testing this technology by using broadband spectrum in 2.6 Ghz band. The technology, used for 4G services, has potential to replace mobile towers as it can directly transmit signals on 4G mobile phones.
iv. To use LTE, Project Loon partners with telecommunications companies to share cellular spectrum so that people will be able to access the Internet everywhere directly from their phones and other LTE-enabled devices.
v. Google uses solar panel and wind to power electronic equipment in the balloon throughout the day. The source said that Google may operate as technology service provider and not as internet service provider.
vi. two radio transceivers to receive and send data streams, plus a third back-up radio.
vii. a flight computer and GPS location tracker.
viii. an altitude control system, which is used to move the balloon up and down to find winds that will take it in the desired direction.
Google is, however, considering other options, It is also pursuing a separate effort code named Titan, which aims to use solar-paneled drones to provide the internet to unconnected parts of the world.
Facebook is also developing a similar drone-based scheme.
Soon in coming years we can see something amazing going around us for internet access will be becoming into a balloon network - Project Loon. Feel free to share your views below in comments.