Google’s Project Loon to broadcast internet through helium balloons
Google; with the help of its holding company ‘Alphabet’ and three other Indonesian companies, Telkomsel, XL Axiata Tbk and Indosat Tbk, is going to launch a project Loon to expand the Internet excess using solar-powered balloons to the nation of 120 million people.
Mike Cassidy, VP of Project Loon says, “In the early days, the balloons would last five or seven or 10 days. Now we have had balloons that have lasted as long as 187 days. It used to take 14 people an hour or two to launch a balloon; now with an automated crane we can launch a balloon every 15 minutes with two or three people”. He added, “We need about 300 balloons or so to make a continuous string around the world. We hope next year to build our first continuous ring around the world and to have some sort of continuous coverage for certain regions”.
The project aims on sending solar-powered balloons about 5000 meters in to the air to deliver 3-G speed internet access through radio frequency signals about 10MB per second to antennae on the ground. Each balloon provides connectivity to a ground area of 40km around it using algorithms to find the best winds to carry them along their desired course. Beneath each balloon there are two radio trans-receivers, a computer with GPS tracker, an altitude control system which will help the balloon to find its right direction and the solar panels.
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.