Alphabet’s Project Loon strikes a breakthrough

By : |February 17, 2017 0

Alphabet’s Project Loon that was launched in 2013 to provide internet to underserved areas with the help of a series of floating balloons has achieved a breakthrough of sorts by finding a way to keep the balloons in one spot for an extended time.

Initially, the team had suggested that the Loon balloons would float around the globe and that they would have to find a way to keep the balloons a safe travelling distance apart and replace a balloon that drifted from an area that needed connectivity. They seem to have found the fix now.

According to the team’s latest announcement, they’ve found a way to keep the balloons in a much more concentrated location, thanks to their improved altitude control and navigation system. Loon says that balloons will now make small loops over a land mass, instead of circumnavigating the whole planet. This also means that Project Loon will be able to work with significantly fewer balloons in flight at any given time.

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“But over the last few months we were able to make some major breakthroughs by applying machine learning techniques to our navigation algorithms, and as a result, we can now get teams of balloons to cluster together over a particular region of the earth. This has enormous implications for Loon’s economic and operational viability: we can put together a Loon network over a particular region in weeks not months, and we can get greater value out of each individual balloon,” X said in a Google+ post.

Though this is surely a major achievement for Team X but whether Alphabet will ever be able to turn Loon into a fully-fledged internet service remains to be seen.

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