Google's 'Project Loon'

Meet Google's 'Project Loon:' Balloon-powered 'net access | Crave - CNET

The search giant wants to give everyone on earth Internet access, and it has a high-flying idea for how to accomplish it.

Google has officially announced "Project Loon," its plan to connect the entire world to the Internet that uses a decidedly 19th century technology: Balloons.

Official Blog: Introducing Project Loon: Balloon-powered Internet access

We believe that it might actually be possible to build a ring of balloons, flying around the globe on the stratospheric winds, that provides Internet access to the earth below. It’s very early days, but we’ve built a system that uses balloons, carried by the wind at altitudes twice as high as commercial planes, to beam Internet access to the ground at speeds similar to today’s 3G networks or faster. As a result, we hope balloons could become an option for connecting rural, remote, and underserved areas, and for helping with communications after natural disasters. The idea may sound a bit crazy—and that’s part of the reason we’re calling it Project Loon—but there’s solid science behind it.

Loon for All – Project Loon – Google

The Technology

Project Loon balloons float in the stratosphere, twice as high as airplanes and the weather. They are carried around the Earth by winds and they can be steered by rising or descending to an altitude with winds moving in the desired direction. People connect to the balloon network using a special Internet antenna attached to their building. The signal bounces from balloon to balloon, then to the global Internet back on Earth.

The Pilot Test

Project Loon starts in June 2013 with an experimental pilot in New Zealand. A small group of Project Loon pioneers will test the technology in Christchurch and Canterbury.


The Smiler: Alton Towers' 14 Loop Rollercoaster

Video: World's first 14 loop rollercoaster opens at Alton Towers - Telegraph

Not for the faint hearted, the rollercoaster features a series of twisted psychological effects including optical illusions, blinding lights and jabbing needles designed to mess with your mind.

The Smiler | Alton Towers Resort

The Smiler's 5 Mind Manipulations: 
  • The Innoculator 
    A jab of happiness as you pass by stage one of the Marmalisation process.
  • The Tickler
    Aims to tickle you until you can't resist smiling
  • The Flasher  
    The giant flashing device, blinding you as you hurtle underneath the leg.
  • The Giggler
    Infectious, intoxicating laughing gas
  • The Hypnotiser  
    Has the power to disorientate, mesmerise and disrupt your self-awareness.

The Smiler – The Ride – Experience The Smiler at Alton Towers Resort


Ride time: 165 seconds

Passengers per ride train: 16

Minimum rider height: 1.4m

Location: X Sector

Highest drop: 30m

Maximum speed: approx 85 km/h

Track length: 1,170m

Opening: May 2013