Monday, October 24, 2005


Broadband via Air Balloon

Recently a downlink broadband connection through Air Balloon from stratospheric level of 24000 feet above earth was tried very successfully. This is a real breakthrough and a very innovative thinking on how www could be connected. The main idea behind this test is to provide internet in the disaster zones and low cost internet access in the under-developing worlds.

I feel this would be more useful to the media, wherever they send their correspondents; they could float a balloon as well and keep in touch with them through instant internet.

One wild imagination that comes in my mind is, this might help in rescue operations or tracking missed/lost passengers/people/travelers. How ?? the VoIP/internet phone would improve a lot in future that we should be able to carry VoIP phone as mobile with our own number/logins, so imagine if I get lost in wild depth of African Jungle during my vacation, to find me they could just float this broadband balloon in jungles, If I am lucky my phone should detect the balloon network and I would shout hey! Kindly rescue me..........

Check here for the complete article from the

“David Grace, one of the project scientists behind the test, from the University of York, UK, says stratospheric communications balloons provide wireless alternatives to fixed internet infrastructure.”You could rapidly put communications infrastructure where it doesn't exist," he told. "In developing countries it could be a cheaper way to roll out, and you could do it incrementally."

The main concern with such floating communications hubs is ensuring they do not interfere with commercial aircraft. Controllers on the ground are able to alter the altitude of the balloon but not steer it.

The stratospheric craft was equipped with two communication systems: a high power radio antenna developed at the University of York, and an ultra-high-speed optical communications system built by the German Aerospace Centre (DRL).”

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