Introduction to Loon: Connecting the Unserved and Underserved
As a company, Loon is on a mission to connect people everywhere by harnessing the power of the stratosphere. In fact, we consider the stratosphere to be the new frontier. At Loon, we’ve spent nearly a decade inventing and developing the technologies that enable us to operate unmanned balloons in the stratosphere for hundreds of days at a time and provide connectivity to underserved people and communities below. Loon is an independent company within Alphabet, which is the parent company of Google.
Traditional, ground-based infrastructure is limited in its ability to provide Internet access to those in remote or hard-to-cover areas. Loon partners with mobile network operators globally to expand the reach of their LTE service. Together, we help expand coverage to places that lack it, supplement existing networks, and provide expedient coverage after natural disasters.
Delivering connectivity from balloons flying 20 km up in the stratosphere poses a unique set of engineering challenges and opportunities. To expand connectivity to unserved and underserved areas around the world, Loon combines advancements in materials science, atmospheric modeling, machine learning, communications systems, and more. As of 2019, Loon has flown its balloons over one million hours in the stratosphere, covering approximately 25 million miles and connecting hundreds of thousands of individual users. During this day of training we will share information on the unique capabilities and demonstrate our innovative technology as we work together to close the digital divide.