Google is set to test fly its large balloons, which are part of Project Loon, over Australia next month. Project Loon balloons are designed to beam internet service to residents on the ground. Project Loon is a plan that Google has talked about in the past and hopes to use to give internet connectivity to remote parts of the world. The balloons themselves are able to circle the globe on stratospheric winds.
Each of the balloons carries antennas capable of shooting 4G-like internet signals to homes and phones on the ground 20km below the balloon. Google is teaming with Telstra to provide the base stations needed to provide the internet access. Google has already had a test flight and service trial for Project Loon.
The first test flight for the helium balloons was in Christchurch New Zealand, in June of last year. Google choose that location due to what it called favorable stratospheric conditions. Google wants to eventually have a ring of balloons circling the Earth to bring internet to consumers on the ground.
Google says that its project could bring internet to 2/3 of the people who currently have no internet access. The Project Loon balloons are appealing to developing nations because the balloons mean no costly fiber optic cables would need to be laid on the ground. Each of the balloons used in the project can stay aloft for 100 days.
SOURCE: The Guardian