What is Project Loon
We all are using Internet connectivity for last long years, but two-thirds of world population even does not know about internet. Project Loon is a network of travelling balloons specially developed to connect rural and remote areas, to cover up network gap and re-connect after disasters.
In stratosphere Project Loon balloons are float, as twice as airplane and weather. Stratosphere has multiple layer of wind, and direction and speed for each layer varies. Loon balloons can travel where they are needed by up and downs in to a layer of wind. By shaking hands with many telecommunication organizations to share cellular spectrum, people can be connected to balloon directly from their mobile phones and other internet accessible devices. A signal is passed across the balloon and then back down to global internet on earth.
These balloons will be situated between 10 km and 60 km. It presents a unique engineering challenges: Air pressure is 1% that is present at sea level, and this very thin environment offers less protection from UV radiation and temperature swings that can be as low as -80°C. These balloons are designed very carefully.
How Loon is Designed
The outer side of this balloon is called Balloon Envelope. Loon’s balloon envelopes are made from polyethylene plastic, it is 15 meters wide and 12 meters tall. When balloon need to be retired the gas released from envelope and slowly it comes back to earth.
Each balloon has electronic power by solar panel. This solar array is supported by light-weight aluminum frame. This solar array is distributed in to two sections facing opposite directions granting to grasp energy in any orientations as balloon spins slowly in wind. Power of these panels is approx. 100 watts of power in sun.
A small box is like a basket carried by hot balloon. It carries circuit board to control the whole system, radio antennas to communicate with other balloons and network antennas on earth. The lithium ion batteries to store solar power so that balloons can operate throughout the whole night.
How Loon Connects
Each and every balloon can provide connectivity to earth by wireless communication about 80 km in diameter. People can easily access internet globally at high speed links from there internet accessible devices.
Where Loon Has Been
The super project was started in 2013 in New Zealand, where loon technology was tested on small group of projects. It was tested as well as New Zealand, California’s Central Valley and in Northeast Brazil are dedicated to improve technology for next stage of this project.