Project Loon

In the most recent Google I/O Conference a lot of new and exciting technology was announced to be hitting the internets in the coming months. One particular piece of tech that was touched on, and is of particular interest to all of us in the website world, was Project Loon.

Why Project Loon?
Everyday, digital marketers take advantage of their opportunity to reach a wide audience of people with the power of the internet. But did you know that two-thirds of the world’s population does not have Internet access? By taking interest and understanding Project Loon, you will see how the innovative minds over at Google are trying to close that gap of unconnected people.

What is Project Loon?
A network of balloons floating in the Earth’s stratosphere working to bring internet to the world’s most rural and remote areas.

How does Project Loon work?
In a partnership with Telecommunications companies, Project Loon shares the cellular sharing wireless traffic directly to phones and other devices supporting an LTE network. Each balloon can provide connections to the Earth up to a 40 km diameter.

Project Loon Technology

To travel, Project Loon balloons use the winds in the stratosphere to move in the direction desired. Each layer of the stratosphere varies in speed and direction so a software algorithm was programmed to determine which way the balloons should travel using the wind layer to take them to their destination. For a more in-depth look into the technology created for Project Loon, click here.

How is Project Loon designed?
Using sheets of polyethylene plastic, Project Loon balloons are shaped in what is called a balloon envelope. This envelope is measured at 15 meters wide by 12 meters tall when fully inflated. To control the decent or inflation into the different layers of the stratosphere, gas is released from the envelope to bring the balloon down in a controlled manner. An emergency parachute is attached to the top of envelope which would be deployed if a balloon is ever dropping too quickly. The balloons’ electronics to control these movements are all powered by solar panels.

Project Loon Design

Where did Project Loon start?
In June 2013, a small group began testing this technology in New Zealand. After successful testing across California and Brazil, Project Loon looks to expand to the Southern Hemisphere in an attempt to bring uninterrupted connections to even more people across the world. For a deeper look into Project Loons journey, visit here.

It seems as if Project Loon’s journey is really in its infancy, so to stay up-to-date on new adventures and improved technology you can follow them on their Google+ Page or monitor the hashtag #AskAway.

Are you excited by this new technology? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

About the Author: Deanna Zaucha is the Senior Specialist of Content Marketing for Webs and Pagemodo, and also manages our social media presence. She can be found on a dance floor, or on her iPhone keeping up with trends in marketing and tech. Get more from Deanna on the Webs Blog and Twitter.

All images via Google

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