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[Wired] Google blimps to carry wireless signal across Africa - Page 3

post #21 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by drnilly007 View Post

And probably sell the parts for food considering how most of Africa kids die of disease and malnutrition, way to go google for really stepping up to the plate to give people what they really need.

First off, I agree with above posters. It's Google... not a save the world NGO.

Also, you should look into how much cell phones have actually benefited the rural African population. You'd be surprised, I'm sure.
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero4549 View Post

Blimps are still more reliable, easier to maintain, are way more durable and can carry far larger payloads. Never mind that they can stay perfectly still unless they're in severe weather, which isn't all that likely out in the middle of Africa. They probably come out cheaper in the long run too.

Those little super-light solar powered gliders are purely recreational vehicles that can barely support their own weight, never mind the weight of communications equipment and the power source required to run the things.

Did you see the "NASA" stickers on the side?

Anyway, a blimp can stand still... If it's burning fuel all day. Do you really know about the maintenance requirements of blimps? Yes you're winning the payload argument but how heavy does this need to be? Are we talking Mbit... or Kbit connections?

Yea there is solar powered blimps but that picture there doesn't look like it has that. On the whole I don't think either one of us is well enough informed to even be having this argument. Why can't I just have my pie in the African sky ideas?
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post #23 of 31
lol, they have to put towers airborne because they know what'll happen if they build them on land.

Very cool though. Hope it works out for them. Will make flying somewhat interesting, given the number of private aircraft flying around Africa.
    
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post #24 of 31
Inverse Square Law.

I would be more concerned about the fact that signal would get really weak unless google has a way of boosting/repeating it at ground level.
Either that, or have them low enough to the ground they can just be shot full of holes.
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post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilWrir View Post

Inverse Square Law.

Only applies to omnidirectional transmissions. Even if Google's blimps weren't directing their transmissions at any specific area, the article implies they would numerous and local.

I don't think range would be a serious issue. Modern 4G signals can provide multiple megabits of bandwidth at 50km+ in good conditions. Lower frequency transmissions would either need more channels or would have to operate at lower bandwidth, but could easily have superior range, and you don't need a lot of bandwidth for it to be an enormous improvement over nothing. Even a reliable 128-256k connection would be revolutionary for many developing nations.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilWrir View Post

boosting/repeating it at ground level.

Also implied by the article.
Edited by Blameless - 5/28/13 at 11:35pm
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post #26 of 31
Sounds cool..
 
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post #27 of 31
Interesting idea.

They probably will not go high bandwidth, more like the 56k modems or so perhaps bandwidth wise. Wonder how maintenance-free can they make these things and if its viable to use warm air instead of lifting gas. If they could pull off warm air and have a lot of solar batteries on the surface of the balloons it might be, perhaps, be viable to do an airborn system that can keep its position overnight on battery power for months between maintenance with few hundred kg payload. Interesting idea certainly.
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post #28 of 31
Great idea, maybe in the future the blimp dock on top of the empire state building will finally see some use. tongue.gif They used to say blimps were the future and now it turns out to be true after all, so cool. thumb.gif
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post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oddworld Abe View Post

Great idea, maybe in the future the blimp dock on top of the empire state building will finally see some use. tongue.gif They used to say blimps were the future and now it turns out to be true after all, so cool. thumb.gif

In many ways they could and should have been. It's their bad rep from early incidents such as the hindenburg that really stunted their development, and their slow speeds compared to newly-developed (at the time) high capacity airplanes that eventually killed them off.

In today's world, they are pretty much limited to use as mobile stationary airborne platforms, or as novelties. That said, mobile stationary airborne platforms are exactly what google needs if they want to spread internet to areas that have traditionally been without.
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post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpankyMcFlych View Post

Nobody can give africa political stability, less corruption, a belief in education, a desire to not make war on eachother, and a willingness to use condoms. Africa has to take these things for itself.

The west has been sending money, food and medicine to africa for my entire life and all we have to show for it is ever increasing numbers of africans starving and dying of disease and war. I doubt if googles wireless internet will benefit africa in any real way either, until they fix the issues causing their misery in the first place.

One lifetime isn't going to undo the many lifetimes it took for Africa to turn out the way it did. Yes political corruption is a problem, but who told you Africans don't have a belief in education?
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