Google has employed the use of solar powered balloons to bring internet access to far-flung areas of the world. Called Project Loon, these balloons float in the stratosphere that’s 60,000 feet above sea level and where there are different wind layers. Using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, these balloons move around after a wind layer with desired speed and direction has been located. These balloons carry a small antenna which communicate with a similar antenna on the ground, whereby providing internet access.
The test phase of this project is being carried out in New Zealand, primarily because Google wants to avoid dealing with issues that might arise if its balloons somehow end up flying over countries where they might not be welcome. New Zealand’s Prime Minister will officially announce Project Loon’s trial in the country, particularly in Christchurch where 50 citizens in 12 mile range of these balloons will be provided unadulterated internet access. These are real people, not Google employees testing their own creation. This project, like all ambitious projects of the internet search giant, came out of the Google X labs where it was first started some two years ago.