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.
Thread beginning with comment 564890
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: Well
by unclefester on Tue 18th Jun 2013 09:09 UTC in reply to "Well"
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

I can't see this working.
Air space violation -> kaboom, bye bye internets.


Altitudes above 12mi (18km) are generally considered to be international airspace.

It is almost impossible to shoot down a high altitude balloon. Very few countries have suitable high altitude missiles. A missile that hits an unpressurised helium balloon will simply punch a small hole in the cover causing a very slow leak.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Well
by MOS6510 on Tue 18th Jun 2013 11:09 in reply to "RE: Well"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Bloody nano missiles.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Well
by Ultimatebadass on Tue 18th Jun 2013 12:27 in reply to "RE: Well"
Ultimatebadass Member since:
2006-01-08

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.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Well
by unclefester on Wed 19th Jun 2013 04:42 in reply to "RE[2]: Well"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

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.

Reply Parent Score: 3