The Project Loon, a subsidiary of Google announced that its balloons have successfully stayed in the stratosphere (second layer of the atmosphere) for almost a year. The balloons are filled with helium and cover a distance of 2.1 lakh km. The Project aims to provide internet connectivity to the remote parts of the world. Recently, Google’s Project Loon has created a new record for the longest stratospheric flight by staying in air for 312 days. In 2019, the Google announced that its balloons reached over 1 million hours of stratospheric flight.
The Project Loon
It aims to tap the stratosphere to provide internet connectivity to the remote parts of the world. The project loon involves helium-filled balloons that remain in the stratosphere and create aerial wireless networks. The project loon has collaborated with several countries and their technology partners to provide internet connectivity.
Presently, the internet connectivity system consists of only two basic methods, to deliver a connection, namely Signal from Space and Signal from Ground. Lately, the Project are also used as weather monitors.
About Helium Balloons
- The Project Loon balloons are 15 metres wide and 12 metres tall. The balloons are launched at an altitude of 20 kilometer above the earth, that is above the zone where the airplanes fly. The Helium balloons act as cell towers receiving and transmitting signals. Helium balloons are powered by solar panels.
- The path of the Helium balloons is controlled by changing its altitude. They use the wind speed and direction to move up or down. The altitude is changed by pumping or releasing air. When one station moves off to a pre-determined position, the next balloon moves in.
- The users need special antenna to receive and transmit signals from and to the balloon.
- The inflatable part of the Helium balloon is called “Balloon Envelope”.
- The panels in the balloon produce 100 watts of power when completely exposed to the sun.