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A Balloon From Google’s Project Loon Knocks Out Power Lines

Google has been silently testing the balloons which are a part of its ambitious Project Loon. As part of such a test, the company was trying to land a balloon back on ground when it knocked out some power lines in Washington.


Project Loon balloon

Google had apparently notified FAA officials about the scheduled landing of the balloon in order to avoid running into any air traffic. In what the company later described as a ‘controlled landing’, the balloon ran into some electric power lines at about 1 a.m. The accident knocked out power supply to a small number of residents in Washington.

The company has equipped its Project Loon balloons with a number of fail-safe tools. But there are certain scenarios which are very hard to tackle for Google. For instance, if the wind picks up just when the balloon is trying to land, it may move it away from the intended area of landing and cause accidents like these.

However, it must be noted here that Google was able to have the whole thing sorted out by 6 a.m. The company has further revealed that if a balloon drops down too fast, it is equipped with a parachute to slow down this fall. With Project Loon, Google is aiming at providing internet access to remote areas where the telecom infrastructure is otherwise missing. Although the project is still in its early phase, Google has big ambitions attached with it and it remains to be seen how the company adapts its balloons to avoid any further incidents like this in the future.

Courtesy: The Verge

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