Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 17th Jun 2013 17:58 UTC
Google "The Internet is one of the most transformative technologies of our lifetimes. But for 2 out of every 3 people on earth, a fast, affordable Internet connection is still out of reach. And this is far from being a solved problem. There are many terrestrial challenges to Internet connectivity - jungles, archipelagos, mountains. There are also major cost challenges. Right now, for example, in most of the countries in the southern hemisphere, the cost of an Internet connection is more than a month's income. Solving these problems isn't simply a question of time: it requires looking at the problem of access from new angles. So today we're unveiling our latest moonshot from Google[x]: balloon-powered Internet access." Insane.
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RE[3]: Well
by unclefester on Wed 19th Jun 2013 04:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Well"
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Using anti-aircraft missiles on baloons? I don't think anyone would be insane enough given the cost of those. Also (correct me if i'm wrong) most anti-aircraft missiles have some kind of proximity fuse so it wouldn't just punch a hole.

Depending on what fighters a country has it might be possible to send those up and gun the things down.

Tethered barrage balloons were used to protect London during WW2. The balloons forced attacking German fighter aircraft to fly at higher altitudes making them vulnerable to anti-aircraft fire. These balloons were virtually impossible to destroy.

Anti-aircraft missiles typically home in on high temperature exhausts. They probably wouldn't even "see" a cold Mylar balloon.

Modern fighters typically have fairly low ceilings of ~12-16Km. You'd need a high altitude interceptor from the Cold War like an F104 or MiG31 to get anywhere near 20,000m.

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