Carrier WiFi

Hot Air WLAN

One of the most pointless wireless LAN (WLAN) deployments yet attempted has been recognized by the Guinness Book of Records.

Late last year, the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) [ed. note: the what!??] decided to go where no third-rate space agency has ever gone before and put a wireless LAN access point in a balloon.

Using a wireless LAN outdoor bridge unit from Alvarion, combined with a 2.4GHz antenna and a power amplifier, the SSC balloon maintained a wireless LAN connection at a height of 29.7 km over a distance of 315 km.

The Guinness Book of Records has officially recognized this as the longest distance achieved using 802.11 wireless connectivity.

Despite this, Unstrung can't think of a single application for this high-altitude technology, unless you like your 802.11 access with complementary oxygen mask. Answers on a postcard please...

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung
mmassironi 12/5/2012 | 12:29:56 AM
re: Hot Air WLAN Wrong. Combined with forthcoming developments in micro fuel cells and with low cost rotor/baloon vehicles hovering above planes, this demonstrates just how really cheap and feasible broadband wiress WAN could be made.
joset01 12/5/2012 | 12:29:54 AM
re: Hot Air WLAN "low cost rotor/baloon(sic) vehicles hovering above planes"

Pardon me? Did I read that right?

DJ Unstrung

mmassironi 12/5/2012 | 12:29:51 AM
re: Hot Air WLAN Various R&D groups throughout the world (I am aware of one such group in Japan for instance) are working on the concept of unmanned, small-scale airship systems -- usually involving bolloons, propellers and helicopter style rotors -- designed to fly at low stratospheric altitudes of 20 km or less (above plane routes).

It is much less far fetched than it looks at first sight.
joset01 12/5/2012 | 12:29:50 AM
re: Hot Air WLAN Erm,okay, wow, sounds very farfetched, but I suppose everything does before it happens. Could you point me in the right direction of someone to talk to about this?



[email protected]
spc_rayella 12/5/2012 | 12:29:34 AM
re: Hot Air WLAN This idea of having massive unmanned balloons carrying broadband wireless gear has been floating around [groan!] for years. I remember back in the late 1990s it was being proposed as an alternative to fixed last mile broadband in urban areas. It didn't take off then either - quite literally!

There was even talk of having manned planes carrying routers constantly flying above cities, witht the pilots on 8-hour shifts....

The world is full of crazy schemes. Some of them make it (Iridium), some of them don't. Balloons are for kids' birthday parties, I reckon.

Unstrung Ray
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