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Google uses solar to provide internet…by balloon

Internet giant Giant is using solar as part of a new initiative to provide internet to people without net access across the world.

Project Loon is, according to the project’s website, “a network of balloons traveling on the edge of space” at a level twice as high as airplanes. The balloons are moved by the wind, and can be directed up or down.

Credit: Google

Credit: Google

The project website notes that while many of us have internet, about two-thirds of the world don’t have a secure connection. So Google has created this roaming internet project “to connect people in rural and remote areas, help fill coverage gaps, and bring people back online after disasters.”

The balloons are directed to move in a way that creates a communications network, and provides internet through antennas that are attached to buildings on Earth. The balloons are connected to boxes with the electronic equipment needed to provide internet – and 100 watt solar arrays are used to keep the equipment working.

Credit: Google

Credit: Google

The project had its first test in New Zealand earlier this month, giving the pilot testers about 15 minutes of internet access.

Learn more about Project Loon here.


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