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Project Loon simulations test internet from above the clouds, virtually


To make sure Google's Project Loon is more internet via balloon than pie in the sky, the search giant turned to data simulations. Loon Rapid Evaluator Dan Piponi's goal was to determine the possibility of a "nicely spaced flock of balloons" to provide reliable airborne internet. Proper spacing is key for this because if the gaps are too wide, coverage will be spotty -- the opposite of what the initiative is hoping to achieve. He iterated "hundreds" of times using publicly available wind info to visualize how different stratospheric factors would affect balloon travel and found that yes, they could indeed be evenly distributed. Piponi posited that in the future, the balloons could have information about what other balloons are doing around them and adjust spacing on their own, accordingly. If you ask us, that sounds like the internet of things is taking to the clouds.

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