Published on June 19th, 2013 | by Sid0
Google’s Project Loon
Google recently did their first public test of its Project Loon, a revolutionary new technology that aims at providing Internet facilities to everyone, especially to people in rural areas. Google also aims to use this technology to help in rescue efforts in disaster-hit areas where ground communication is down. The project is highly experimental at the moment, but it promises to be a boon to many.
How does this technology work? Well, Google plans to build a ring of balloons circulating the Earth on the stratospheric winds. These balloons are expected to provide Internet access to the people on the ground, at speeds either equal to or greater than current 3G speeds. While the idea sounds crazy (Google says that’s why they named it Project Loon), it seems that there is some solid science behind it. And with their first public test in New Zealand being a success, Google is now planning a wider test by launching hundreds of balloons at the same latitude, approximately 40 degrees south.
For those of you wondering how the balloons would be steered, Google says that the balloons would be steered by making the balloons rise of fall to the altitude where the winds are moving in the desired direction.
While the idea is a good one, providing Internet access all over the world, whether this idea is feasible or not is something that remains to be seen. The cost of maintenance and legal issues will also come into the picture. Another major problem would be the amount of time that the balloons can float without falling. But mainly, I feel that airspace access will be a problem. Even if Google manages to get past all the other obstacles, this will be the most difficult as the balloons would travel into the airspace of many different countries and some countries might now like this happening. This would prove a major hurdle for the world-wide project.
Personally I don’t think that we can expect the global system to be up and running anytime soon, though let’s wait and watch. If you have any comments about the article or would just like to express your views, our comments section is always open. Until next time folks!