Project Loon: LTE and Mesh Networks in the Stratosphere
Project Loon is a network of balloons traveling on the edge of space, designed to extend Internet connectivity to people in rural and remote areas worldwide. High …
|Talk Title||Project Loon: LTE and Mesh Networks in the Stratosphere|
|Date||Feb 19 2018 - Feb 21 2018|
Project Loon is a network of balloons traveling on the edge of space, designed to extend Internet connectivity to people in rural and remote areas worldwide. High speed internet is transmitted up to the nearest balloon from our ground stations, relayed across the balloon network, and then back down to users on the ground. Recently, we announced that we partnered with the Government of Puerto Rico, the FCC, the FAA, FEMA, spectrum partners, and international aviation authorities to bring balloon powered internet to the island of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria made landfall as a category 4 hurricane and caused significant damage to the island’s connectivity infrastructure. We collaborated with AT&T and T-Mobile to support basic communication and internet activities in Puerto Rico like text messaging and accessing information online. This is the first time we have used our new machine learning powered algorithms to keep balloons clustered over Puerto Rico. To operate this network, X, the Moonshot Factory, developed a Temporospatial Software Defined Network (TS-SDN) for aerospace communication. Over the last several years, the team responsible for the TS-SDN in Project Loon has been involved with the application of aircraft and spacecraft as platforms for providing abundant Internet access to the world. We’ve explored the TS-SDN application in large scale Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellite constellations, and we’ve developed, deployed, and operated Internet access from unmanned aerial vehicles and stratospheric balloons. Along the way, we solved key challenges in the operation of non-geostationary, multi-hop aerospace networks and have developed highly-scalable, unified network infrastructure that we’ve leveraged across all of these projects. This presentation provides an overview of Project Loon, the Loon Network, our Temporospatial SDN solution, and complementary Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure.