You may have read about Google’s answer to internet access for the masses, Project Loon, which would float a network of solar-powered balloons over areas needing a connection. But this idea can also be used for another purpose, according to recent reports. One company has constructed a network of what they call ‘helikites’, which are hybrids of a balloon and kite that can handle small loads and are able to be launched quickly. These helikites would be able to provide internet access via LTE or WLAN in the event of a natural disaster.
One suitcase filled with everything needed for internet connection activation would be all that’s required when internet was needed in an area where significant damage had occurred. The network is even able to be integrated with cell towers that already exist, meaning that the system would be able to be launched both in an emergency and to expand mobile coverage where planned events were taking place in locations considered to be remote. There is the issue of the helikites drifting so far apart that they would lose their connectivity, but this would likely not occur for approximately four days, depending on wind speed and direction.