After a first round of tests in New Zealand in 2013, those responsible for Project Loon now want to show its efficiency across the globe. Project Lead Mike Cassidy, explains the fabrication and functioning of these strange stratospheric balloons capable of dealing with anything, even spontaneous occurrences.
Launched in 2013, the project's aim is to offer internet to everyone who doesn't yet have access, including those in the planet's most remote regions (mountains, poles, etc.).
It is now possible to produce these balloons by the millions and answer production demand. After two years of testing, the balloons are now capable of staying in the air for hundreds of days, at an altitude of about 20km. They operate autonomously thanks to solar energy, and each one is capable of covering a zone of 40km in diameter via a wireless LTE connection.
In a new video, Mike Cassidy also explains that the balloons can be controlled from a long distance, thus allowing them to be redirected to priority zones at any given moment. All of the tests took place in the southern hemisphere, between the Tropic of Capricorn and Antarctica.
Now the goal is to find partners and local providers for the project in order to allow populations who as of yet don't have access to the internet to be able to connect no matter where they are. A first deployment is planned before the end of the year.
Almost two out of three people, or nearly 4 billion people, still don't have access to the internet in 2015.