By The Engineer – June, 8th 2014 Internet has become a vital part of our life over decades and now you can’t possibly imagine life without it will be. However, you’d be surprised to know that even now 2/3rd of Earth’s population doesn’t have access to internet. This is where Google comes in who has decided to change this by launching a myriad of satellites in order to provide internet services to the 4.8 billion people who are still offline.
According to the information; the company is spending about $1 billion on this project which will rival Facebook’s effort to provide free internet to the world. There are rumors that Google will launch 180 satellites for this project. They will orbit the Earth at somewhat lower altitudes when compared to the conventional satellites.
Google’s project is being headed by Greg Wyler who is the founder of the O3b Networks, a start-up aimed at satellite communications, and there are rumors that the team might launch twice the suggested number of satellites. But that is still a speculation and the final verdict will be made once the final design in submitted. This project is basically the latest venture undertaken by Silicon Valley whereas we also have a separate project by Google which plans on employing hot air high altitude balloons to provide internet, dubbed as Project Loon.
Professor William Webb, Deputy President of the Institution of Engineering, said: ‘The idea of using aerial platforms to deliver connectivity is one that is many decades old, from low-orbital satellites to balloons and more recently unmanned aerial vehicles. The difficulty has always been one of keeping the aerial platform in the right place in the sky for weeks or months at a low enough cost. As technologies mature we get ever closer to achieving this and Facebook’s intervention in this space is a welcome boost to the area.’
Right now the task at hand is to make the project economically feasible while ensuring that it serves the purpose. Good luck to Google!