Photo: Internet balloon
Brazil’s National Space Research Institute, known as Inpe, said it is looking at the feasibility of using balloons to extend the Internet into isolated regions such as Amazonia.
Balloons represent a lower-cost alternative to existing technologies and would have a negligible environmental impact, Inpe said.
Inpe mounted a test on Thursday in a municipality in São Paulo state, launching a balloon that weighs about 15 kilos (33 pounds) at an altitude of 240 meters (787 feet).
Equipped with four radio transmitters, the balloon broadcasts an omni-directional Internet signal 50 kilometers (31 miles).
“With the balloon, broadband communication using radio frequencies reaches a bigger coverage area in comparison with conventional towers,” Inpe said in a statement.
Brazil’s ministers for Science, Technology and Innovation, Marco Antonio Raupp; and Communications, Paulo Bernardo, were present for Thursday’s test.