Project Loon Aiding People in the Flood Zones in Peru

Posted by at 9:26 am on May 18, 2017

Thousands of Peruvians have been getting online using Project Loon, a connectivity X Company from Google’s parent company, Alphabet.

Project Loon is a global network of tennis court-sized high altitude balloons carrying a small box of equipment to beam internet access to a wide area below. The balloons ascend like weather balloons until they reach the stratosphere, where they sail at an altitude of roughly 20 km (65,000 ft), safely above the altitudes used for aviation. While weather balloons burst after only a few hours in the air, Loon balloons are superpressured, allowing them to last much longer. Loon balloons are also unique in that they can sail the wind to travel where they need to go, they can coordinate with other balloons as a flock, and their electronics are entirely solar powered.

The loon team had been testing the system in Peru when serious floods hit in January, and so the technology was opened up to people living in three badly-hit cities.

The team say more than 160 GB of data has been sent over a  area of 40,000 km2  (about the size of Switzerland ) The amount of data is around the size of 30 million WhatsApp messages, or 2 million emails would use.

The balloons were launched from the US territory of Puerto Rico before being guided south.



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