Would You Want Broadband-By-Soviet-Spy-Plane?

from the sign-me-up dept

For many years, we’ve been hearing all sorts of bizarre and crazy ideas for different methods of offering broadband. A popular one tends to be with flying devices of some sort. For a while we heard all sorts of stories about hideous-looking floating blimps called stratellites that would get press every six months or so, but which never actually launched anywhere. That’s been going on for about five years. Another company tried something similar, but called its offering aerostats. Then there was the company that tried to use an acronym instead, referring to “HAPs” or “high altitude platforms.” No matter what you call them, though, they haven’t actually done much. However, that won’t stop some people from trying. The latest such case isn’t even a blimp. The idea is to take Russian unmanned spyplanes and turn them into flying broadband providers. Perhaps they’ll double as spyplanes as well, though that’s not clear. What is clear is that the economics of such an offering, combined with the likelihood of it being reliable (i.e., almost no chance), means that this is another plan not destined to be competing with your DSL connection any time soon.

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Comments on “Would You Want Broadband-By-Soviet-Spy-Plane?”

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reeder says:


What if the russians built modular sattalites then sent them into orbit so as to creat world wide coverage?The sattelites could be added on to at any time.They have the ability to launch tremendus loads in to space,All they would need is a modifyed capsual to carry the technitions up there to assemble the things.not a wimpy little satelits of a few thousand pounds but hundreds of tones even eventulla thousands of tones.The only problem might be time delay,mabe a low earth orbit,Say 3 thousand miles up.access in the neighbor hood of 100 dollare per year,

wth? says:

The article omits details

The linked article omits details making this whole story sound as something completely different than what it really is, even though it itself links to most of the relevant information.

1. The main idea of this project is to be able to create cell phone and data coverage in areas hit by natural or man made disaster or in areas with no satellite/phone connections of any kind.

2. Use in disaster areas does not need explanation, I hope. As far as use in areas without direct telecommunication links, it makes sense too. These areas won’t need 24/7 connection like us, spoiled westerners, do, and even 12 hours at a time a week will be considerably more than what they already have.

3. M55 (the airplane in question) is NOT unmanned. It is a rather large airplane similar to U2 and with a range of 15,000 km, which makes the whole idea of it floating around for extended period of time quite reasonable.

Now seriously, could the article writer comment on the actual news and not try to pigeonhole it for entertainment purposes?

Mike Brown says:

Not really a new idea...

This suggestion was first floated back in the 1940’s – the idea then was to use war-surplus B29’s with hinged towers under their bellies orbiting at 30,000 feet as super-high TV transmitting antennas.

See http://members.aol.com/jeff560/tv5.html

Evidently the system was actually tested and used at one point, under the name “Stratovision”. In fact, we may be doing it right now in Iraq from a C130 Hercules.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratovision

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