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Alphabet’s Loon is taking its high-altitude networking technology to space
Loon, an Alphabet Inc. unit working to expand internet access around the world, is teaming up with satellite operator Telesat Inc. to deploy its technology in orbit. The companies announced the collaboration this morning. The project centers on a piece of technology that Loon has developed to support its budding wireless network, which relies on high-altitude balloons to provide connectivity. These balloons are essentially helium-filled cell towers that float in the stratosphere and can reach areas with no ground-based carrier infrastructure. Loon’s network is managed by an automated software platform called the Temporospatial SDN. It enables individual balloons to coordinate with each other similarly to traditional cell towers. When one airborne system picks up a signal, it passes on the transmission to a system closer to the signal’s destination, and the process is repeated until the message can be broadcast to the ground.
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