Google and Tesla have plans to help rebuild Puerto Rico
Oct 08 2017
Project Loon is certainly one of the more "out there" projects that being funded by Google's parent company Alphabet.
Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc, started Project Loon, which was created to give internet connectivity to people in rural places and is now being used for disaster relief.
The helium balloons are expected to deliver emergency LTE cellular reception to allow residents and local governments to contact friends and family, coordinate relief and restoration efforts, and reestablish communication with the outside world.
Alphabet Inc has just been given permission to float 30 balloons over USA territory Puerto Rico, providing them with much needed mobile reception and internet.
Musk, the chief executive of Tesla Inc, said on Friday the company would send more battery installers to Puerto Rico to help restore power after Hurricane Maria knocked out all power on the island over two weeks ago.
First up Google has just nabbed a temporary license for it to provide an emergency cell network across Puerto Rico using its Project Loon technology - that's where giant, floating balloons are used to get connectivity out to remote areas that lack the usual internet and cell tower infrastructure. The balloons that were deployed in Peru, in fact, were launched from Puerto Rico.
When the balloons are floating in the air above the correct spot, ground stations send signals up to the balloon and the balloon sends signal down to the ground so people with a mobile phone can connect to the internet.
Eight-three percent of the island's cellular sites remain out of commission, making communication on and off the island hard, according to the agency. "We've been making solid progress on this next step and would like to thank everyone who's been lending a hand".