Loon’s Balloon: Sky High Internet Source

Internet: it’s something most of us use everyday. And when there are outages we feel lost because we rely on it for almost everything. Even though the World Wide Web was only invented in the 1990s, it’s become so entrenched in our day-to-day lives. But there are still some rural areas that don’t have any access for various reasons, one being it’s too expensive. The internet can be sourced from different places, including radio towers, cell providers, satellites, and modems, which are all very expensive equipment and services. But there are companies working to provide innovative ways to reduce these costs, to ensure even remote and isolated areas can access this valuable resource. 

Loon is one such company, who has developed a novel approach to solving this problem.. Their method: a high altitude balloon about 11 to 16 miles high to quite literally create a floating internet tower. The balloons are made of lightweight polythene and are filled with helium. Radio hot-spots and LTE networking equipment powered by solar panels are attached to each balloon which will float in the stratosphere for around six months before landing and being collected by Loon. The balloons are also capable of navigating the sky through instruction and by analyzing data collected about air currents and altitude to either maintain or change its current location. The balloons have now flown nearly 24 million miles, with one balloon providing internet to 35,000 people over 31,000 square miles.

Are you developing new technology or an innovative approach to solve a problem? Did you know your R&D experiments could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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Swanson Reed is one of the U.S.’ largest Specialist R&D tax advisory firms. We manage all facets of the R&D tax credit program, from claim preparation and audit compliance to claim disputes. 

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