Latest in Science

Image credit:

Helikite balloons can hoist emergency LTE network after natural disaster

Sharif Sakr
July 30, 2013
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

We know, we know, Google has the whole hot air balloon thing covered. But this idea is a bit different. It consists of a group of "helikites," or small load-bearing balloon-kite hybrids, which can quickly be launched to form a network of LTE or WLAN masts up to an altitude of 2.5 miles, providing data coverage following an earthquake or tsunami. A standalone rugged suitcase, or "Portable Land Rapid Deployment Unit," contains everything needed for activation in tough conditions. Researchers behind the project, including German R&D firm TriaGnoSys, have even found a way to integrate the temporary network with existing cell towers that remain in tact on the ground -- a feature that makes the system suitable not only for emergencies, but also for expanding mobile coverage during planned events in remote locations. Of course, the helikites would eventually drift apart and lose connectivity, probably after around four days depending on the wind, but these things never travel quite as far as you'd expect.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Some of Ubisoft's PS4 games won't run on PS5

Some of Ubisoft's PS4 games won't run on PS5

View
Chevy will start selling EV retrofit kits in 2021

Chevy will start selling EV retrofit kits in 2021

View
Scientists found an Earth-sized ‘rogue’ planet in the Milky Way

Scientists found an Earth-sized ‘rogue’ planet in the Milky Way

View
Ford reveals how much its Active Driver Assist option will cost

Ford reveals how much its Active Driver Assist option will cost

View
Roborace engineer explains why a driverless racecar drove into a wall

Roborace engineer explains why a driverless racecar drove into a wall

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr