Google’s Project Loon, an initiative to provide the world’s most remote places WiFi through a hot air balloon, has just travelled around the globe in 22 days. The flight of the balloon exceeded Mountain View’s expectations on Thursday (the team believed it would take 33 days). The Google balloon, named No. I-167, is one of Google X Lab’s (the same organization that built Google Glass) creations.
The team at Google Loon wrote on their Google+ page on Thursday:
“Since last June, we’ve been using the wind data we’ve collected during flights to refine our prediction models and are now able to forecast balloon trajectories twice as far in advance. In addition, the pump that moves air in or out of the balloon has become three times more efficient, making it possible to change altitudes more rapidly to quickly catch winds going in different directions. There were times, for example, when this balloon could have been pulled into the polar vortex – large, powerful wind currents that whip around in a circle near the stratosphere in the polar region – but these improvements enabled us to maneuver around it and stay on course.”
(Image Credit: Google)