October 20, 2014

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Loon

This provocative title might imaginatively take you in the direction of a bunch of people gathered for a social cause, releasing balloons as a symbol of peace. But Google has begun to change the definition of balloons and given them more reasons to float on air.

Oh yes! Google has recently launched Project Loon, which will send internet-enabled balloons into the stratosphere to provide high-speed connectivity in remote areas. Around two-thirds of the world's population has been without the internet and their respective governments have never thought of enabling it, because for them, there are a lot of bigger issues to focus on. But Google is determined to change that! As a part of this mind-blowing project, Google recently launched a series of internet-enabled balloons into the stratosphere over New Zealand, to provide broadband connectivity to rural areas.

The basic idea was to provide internet at a cheaper cost to remote areas, and this has been successful.

The 50 x 40 feet polyethylene plastic balloons are flown at an altitude of 20 Km - high enough to reduce collisions with birds and airplanes. The first ever balloon, carries a parachute so that in an emergency, it can land safely. The balloon carries a box which contains radio antennas to communicate with ground staff and other balloons, GPS, flight sensors, instruments to monitor weather conditions, and the necessary circuit boards for controlling the entire system. Also, if anyone at any point in time wants to use this, they can just install a special antenna outside their homes to receive the signal. Google is confident that this project will be able to provide 3G internet, and in parallel, they have also launched Loon Mission Control, to track down all the balloons.

Now let’s wait till a balloon helps us access Facebook and download movies!