Project Loon in Chico. Balloon-Powered Internet for Everyone.
October 31, 2013 Chico, CA was the launch site of the latest Google internet Communication balloon. This balloon is a part of the “Project Loon.” With two-thirds of the worlds population still without internet connection. The idea behind this project is balloon powered internet for everyone, anytime, anywhere. Google’s Project Loon began in June 2013, with the deployment of 30 balloons in New Zealand’s South Island. Project Loon in Chico.
Google has set out to create a balloon network in the stratosphere. Attempting to provide wireless internet service with 3G speed to remote and rural areas. Utilizing solar panels and the steady stratospheric winds, “Mission Loon Control” will be able to position these balloons. Ascending and descending in the wind currents from west to east, and east to west, will allow the balloons to maintain a relatively consistent position at about 20km or 12.40 miles above the earth.
Google currently plans on deploying about 300 balloons around the world at the 40th parallel south. Providing coverage to New Zealand, Australia, Chile, and Argentina. Testing is now underway in a few other geographical locations.
With success Google hopes to eventually launch tens, if not hundreds of thousands of balloons into the heavens. If successful, this could change the way many receive a world wide web connection. Not only will this be useful for people in un-connected areas, but service could be provided to areas in times of natural disaster. This idea seems a bit looney to some, but maybe this Project Loon is so looney it just might work. We will have to wait and see the results.