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5th semester, Department of Information Technology
Sreenidhi Institute of Science and Technology,Hyderabad.
Abstract-Google has launched, Project Loon which
is a network of balloons traveling on the edge of
space, designed to connect people in rural and remote
areas.Project Loon balloons float in the
stratosphere.They are carried around the Earth by
winds and they can be controlled by rising or
descending to an altitude with winds moving in the
desired direction. People connect to the balloon
network using a special Internet antenna attached to
their building. The signal bounces from balloon to
balloon, then to the global Internet back on Earth. It
helps to fill coverage gaps, and bring people back
online after disasters. This project is still in
experimental phase. Google believes it will be a
feasible ,cost-effective and reliable project.
Project Loon is a research and development project
being developed by Google X with the mission of
providing Internet access torural and remote areas. The
project uses high-altitude balloons placed in
the stratosphere at an altitude of about 18 km (11 mi) to
create an aerial wireless network with up to 4G-
LTE speeds. It was named Project Loon, since Google
itself found the very idea of providing internet access to
the remaining 5 billion population unprecedented and
The balloons are maneuvered by adjusting their altitude
in the stratosphere to float to a wind layer after
identifying the wind layer with the desired speed and
direction using wind data from the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Users of the
service connect to the balloon network using a special
Internet antenna attached to their building. The signal
travels through the balloon network from balloon to
balloon, then to a ground-based station connected to
an Internet service provider (ISP), then onto the global
Internet. The system aims to bring Internet access to
remote and rural areas poorly served by existing
provisions, and to improve communication
during natural disasters to affected regions. Key people
involved in the project include Rich DeVaul, chief
technical architect, who is also an expert on wearable
technology; Mike Cassidy, a project leader; and Cyrus
Behroozi, a networking and telecommunication lead.
Loons shall use patch antennas which are directional
antennas to transmit signals to ground stations or LTE
users. Some smartphones with google SIM cards can use
Google internet services. The whole infrastructure is
based on LTE in which eNodeB is carried in the balloon
which will travel across the globe and connect to users
and EPC network.
In 2008, Google considered contracting with or
acquiring Space Data Corp., a company that sends
balloons carrying small base stations about 20 miles
(32 km) up in the air for providing connectivity to
truckers and oil companies in the southern United States,
but didn't do so.
Unofficial development on the project began in 2011
under incubation in Google X with a series of trial runs
in California's Central Valley. The project was officially
announced as a Google project on 14 June 2013.
On 16 June 2013, Google began a pilot
experiment in New Zealand where about 30 balloons
were launched in coordination with the Civil Aviation
Authority from the Tekapo area in the South Island.
About 50 local users in and around Christchurch and
the Canterbury Region tested connections to the aerial
network using special antennas. After this initial trial,
Google plans on sending up 300 balloons around the
world at the 40th parallel south that would provide
coverage to New Zealand, Australia, Chile, and
Argentina. Google hopes to eventually have thousands
of balloons flying in the stratosphere.
In May 2014, Google X laboratories director, Astro
Teller, announced that, rather than negotiate a section of
bandwidth that was free for them worldwide, they would
instead become a temporary base station that could be
leased by the mobile operators of the country it was
In May–June 2014 Google tested its balloon-powered
internet access venture in Piauí, Brazil, marking its
first LTE experiments and launch near the equator.
In 2014 Google partnered with France's Centre national
d'études spatiales (CNES) on the project.
In Feb, 2014, the record streak for a balloon lasting in
the stratosphere was 50 days. In Nov 2014, the record
was 130 days, and in March 2, 2015, the record for a
continuous balloon flight is 187 days (over 6 months).
On 28 July 2015, Google signed an agreement with
officials of Information and Communication Technology
Agency (ICTA) - Sri Lanka, to launch the technology on
a mass scale. As a result, by March 2016, Sri Lanka will
be the second country in the world to get full coverage
of internet using LTE, after Vatican City.
On 29 October 2015, Google agreed to partner
with Indonesia's XL Axiata, Indosat and Telkomsel to
bring the technology to the country in the hopes of
connecting its 17,000 islands.
Project Loon is Google's pursuit to deploy a high-
altitude balloon network operating in the stratosphere, at
altitudes between 18 km and 25 km. Google asserts that
this particular layer of the stratosphere is advantageous
because of its relatively low wind speeds (e.g., wind
speeds between 5 and 20 mph / 10 to 30 kmph) and
minimal turbulence. Moreover, Google claims that it can
model, with reasonable accuracy, the seasonal,
longitudinal, and latitudinal variations in wind speeds
within the 18–25 km stratospheric layer.
Given a reasonably accurate model of wind speeds
within the 18–25 km band, Google claims that it can
control the latitudinal and longitudinal position of high-
altitude balloons by adjusting only the balloon's
altitude. By adjusting the volume and density of the gas
(e.g., helium, hydrogen, or another lighter-than-air
compound) in the balloon, the balloon's
variable buoyancy system is able to control the balloon's
altitude. Google has additionally indicated that balloons
may be constructed from various materials (e.g.,
metalized Mylar or BoPet) or a highly-flexible latex or
rubber material (e.g., chloroprene).
Initially, the balloons communicated using unlicensed
2.4 and 5.8 GHz ISM bands, and Google claims that the
setup allows it to deliver "speeds comparable to 3G" to
users, but they then switched to LTE with cellular
spectrum by cooperating with local telecommunication
operators. It is unclear how technologies that rely on
short communications times (low latency pings), such
as VoIP, might need to be modified to work in an
environment similar to mobile phones where the signal
may have to relay through multiple balloons before
reaching the wider Internet.
The first person to connect to the "Google Balloon
Internet" after the initial test balloons were launched into
the stratosphere was a farmer in the town of Leeston,
New Zealand, who was one of 50 people in the area
around Christchurch who agreed to be a pilot tester for
Project Loon. The New Zealand farmer lived in a rural
location that couldn't get broadband access to the
Internet, and had used a satellite Internet service in 2009,
but found that he sometimes had to pay over $1000 per
month for the service. The locals knew nothing about the
secret project other than its ability to deliver Internet
connectivity; but allowed project workers to attach a
basketball-sized receiver resembling a giant bright-red
party balloon to an outside wall of their property in order
to connect to the network.
The technology designed in the project could allow
countries to avoid using expensive fiber cable that would
have to be installed underground to allow users to
connect to the Internet. Google feels this will greatly
increase Internet usage in developing countries in
regions such as Africa and Southeast Asia that can't
afford to lay underground fiber cable.
The balloon envelopes used in the project are made by
Raven Aerostar, and are composed
of polyethylene plastic about 0.076 mm (0.0030 in)
thick. The balloons are superpressure balloons filled
with helium, standing 15 m (49 ft) across and 12 m
(39 ft) tall when fully inflated. They carry a custom air
pump system dubbed the "Croce" that pumps in or
releases air to ballast the balloon and control its
elevation. A small box weighing 10 kg (22 lb)
containing each balloon's electronic equipment hangs
underneath the inflated envelope. This box
contains circuit boards that control the system, radio
antennas and a Ubiquiti Networks 'Rocket M2' to
communicate with other balloons and with Internet
antennas on the ground, and batteries to store solar
power so the balloons can operate during the night. Each
balloon’s electronics are powered by an array of solar
panels that sit between the envelope and the hardware. In
full sun, the panels produce 100 watts of power, which is
sufficient to keep the unit running while also charging a
battery for use at night. A parachute attached to the top
of the envelope allows for a controlled descent and
landing when a balloon is ready to be taken out of
service. In the case of an unexpected failure, the
parachute deploys automatically. When taken out of
service, the balloon is guided to an easily reached
location, and the helium is vented into the atmosphere.
The balloons typically have a maximum life of about
100 days, although Google claims that its tweaked
design can enable them to stay aloft for closer to 200
The prototype ground stations use a Ubiquiti Networks
'Rocket M5' radio and a custom patch antenna to connect
to the balloons at a height of 20 km (12 mi). Some
reports have called Google's project the Google Balloon
In May 2014, a Loon balloon crashed into power lines
in Washington, United States.
On 20 June 2014, New Zealand officials briefly
scrambled Emergency Services personnel when a Loon
balloon came down.
In November 2014 a South African farmer found a
crashed Loon balloon in the Karoo desert between
Strydenburg and Britstown.
On 23 April 2015, a Loon balloon crashed in a field near
Bragg City, Missouri.
On September 12, 2015, a loon balloon crash landed in
the front lawn of a residence on Rancho Hills, Chino
V. DESIGN OF LOON
Envelope: The balloon envelope is the name for the
inflatable part of the balloon. Project Loon’s balloon
envelopes are made from sheets of polyethylene plastic
and stand fifteen meters wide by twelve meters tall when
fully inflated.They are specially constructed for use in
superpressure balloons, which are longer-lasting than
weather balloons because they can withstand higher
pressure from the air inside when the balloons reach
float altitude. When a balloon is ready to be taken out of
service, gas is released from the envelope to bring the
balloon down in a controlled descent. In the unlikely
event a balloon drops too quickly, we deploy the
parachute attached to the top of the envelope.
Solar Panels: Each unit’s electronics are powered by an
array of solar panels that sits between the envelope and
the hardware. In full sun, these panels produce 100
Watts of power - enough to keep the unit running while
also charging a battery for use at night. By moving with
the wind and charging in the sun, Project Loon is able to
power itself using only renewable energy sources.
Equipment: A small box containing the balloon’s
electronic equipment hangs underneath the inflated
envelope, like the basket that is carried by a hot air
balloon. This box contains circuit boards that control the
system, radio antennas to communicate with other
balloons and with Internet antennas on the ground, and
batteries to store solar power so the balloons can operate
during the night.
They are of lower cost and less round-trip time than a
satellite, and, given enough of these in the air at any
given moment in any given location, higher capacity via
the multiplicative effect associated with wireless
They have hardware failure easily and there is no proper
internet privacy and each Balloon can work for few
weeks only and it may not be a replacement of satellite
VIII. FUTURE SCOPE
MDIF plans to formally request NASA to use the
International Space Station to test their technology in
September 2014. Manufacturing and launching of
satellites would begin in early 2015, and Outer net is
planned to begin broadcasting in June 2015. Indian
company Specify Inc. is the first private non- profit
company which is working with outernet to provide
global free Wi-Fi access. Forget the Internet - soon there
will be the OUTERNET.
There is near about 75% comment is in the favor of
project loons. so far as I think it would be great Success
Project in Future. And we hope balloons could become
an option for connecting rural, remote, and underserved
areas, and for helping with communications after natural
It may be very helpful in the Areas of….
Information would never have been available at this
ease in the history of this planet, everything just a couple
clicks away, from any corner of the world you are in.
Education: There are millions of poor children all over
the world who haven’t even heard the word ‘school.’
has the potential to become a school on the air for the
Medicine: Health and hygiene information can be made
easily available to the people who haven’t even heard of
Collaboration: Connecting with the remote countries
and inaccessible terrains will no longer be impossible.
eliminate the need to lay down cables in those areas, and
live weather forecast reports in such areas would be of a
great help to the locals there.