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Here is a more detailed look at the intrepid wanderings of our long-distance balloon, Ibis-74 (we've been naming different versions of our balloon envelope design after birds, and this was the 74th of our “Ibis" model). As I-74 left New Zealand, weather data quickly showed that it was tracking a storm across the Pacific. This seemed like an excellent chance to learn firsthand what impact a major weather system would have on our flight — so we just sat back and watched.

This was an enormous system: a series of storms 2400 kilometers wide, which is about half the size of the continental US. Even though I-74 was flying twice as high as the clouds and rain and lightning, we learned that the winds of a huge storm can still reach high up into the stratosphere and dramatically affect its path.  The balloon spent two whole days orbiting a large vortex, spiraling in and out several times, criss-crossing its own path, traveling only a short distance each day, and probably feeling fairly seasick (airsick?). Finally, on June 22, the wind pushed Ibis-74 out of the vortex and on toward Chile.  Next time, we’ll probably take a less scenic route. 
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70 comments
 
What happens to them after their life has ended? Retrieve them or litter the oceans?
 
+Project Loon Sooo...there were some currents available ( and known) by which the system could have been avoided? Also, any damage to the envelope or payload? Also, what kind of parameters are being explored on the envelope design!?!? 
 
That is an interesting flight pattern between day 5 and day 10. Looks like it got caught up in some turbulence.
 
I'm anxious to see how controllable the landings are once they start going very far afield. Controlling motion through differential air currents is a great low energy solution but the error over continental or oceanic distances is bound to be substantial. 
 
¿Qué es esto, un diagrama? No lo entiendo.
(What is this, A diagram? I don't understand this.)
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+Project Loon Do they collect weather data as well? (temperatur, humidity, air pressure, and so on)
I think that data would be very useful for meteorologists.
 
However it had a 3-day turbulence, its route seems to be well-controlled. Good job +Project Loon!
 
"Dad, I have no internet", "Relax son, the weather channel forecasts sunny days next week" : )
 
I know you'd get hung drawn and quartered on another privacy debacle but guys it would be cool to fit cameras to these balloons and provide up to date photographs of weather etc.
 
Myanmar will be waiting 4 u.
 
This is very interesting!!! I will have to keep watching +Project Loon on the latest developments
 
I thought the whole idea here was for them to hold their relative positions.  We already knew a balloon can circle the earth..... 
 
This is a salient science.Isn't it?
Hank W
 
+Mat Helm No, the idea is that there are a chain of balloons that circle the earth each one connecting to eachother and making a sort of wireless wire.  Presonnally I am wondering what will happen if a balloon pops over the atlantic ocean. :\
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+Hank W We already have those, their called satellites.  As I recall on launch day, they went on about how they could hold station by changing the altitude on the balloons, there by using wind currents of different directions.  Plus these are supposed to replace stationary antennas (like in Africa where they steal them, as the story said).  Exactly how many balloons would one have to launch a day to have reliable coverage over a particular piece of earth?  This tech is only viable if they can hold a relative position, and ideally be recovered at the end of the balloons live span.   I-74 I think is a publicity stunt, either on purpose or a malfunction.  Either way, I'm more interested in how well the "stationary" ones are holding up.....
 
I predict that the doldrums will end up with amazing Internet connectivity and a sky full of balloons.
 
I find the track after the storm interesting. The balloon looks to be avoiding land quite nicely. I wonder if that's on purpose -- to keep the balloon away from South America for now. Looking at global wind maps shows a general trend in that direction, but not that would totally avoid land. 
 
Mr anal here, are the distances accurate and if they are how are they computed ?
 
pardon me for repeating the third time but since nobody replied

"
team google, have you properly researched about proven scientific facts that emf exposure disrupts and kills bee colonies by directly causing Colony Collapse Disorder? please enlighten your thoughts on the effects of this project towards them. (nevermind the hypersensitive people, just the bees)

are you planning to rid the earth of any place where there is no wireless signals for the sake of monopoly? what of pollination? wouldnt you disrupt the ecosystem if the bees are affected? would you take responsibility for it?
 
why some one should perdon you although you have  a real story
 
+Pushka Gib'en That is ok then. As long as a company is less irresponsible than others, that makes it ok.
I'd still like to know if these balloons and electronics are recycled or just add to the litter in the world's oceans?
 
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+Project Loon does this mean that the balloons can't really be controlled to provide reliable Internet in case of a bad weather like this?
 
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I think think we should not over analyse the project. It's simply just interesting to follow the progress of the balloon. 
 
+Hari Krishna Dara
When the air in the stratosphere gets stirred by severe weather below, our options for steering a given balloon could become more limited. Fortunately, Internet service will be provided by a network of many balloons. Our navigation system can route other balloons around areas like this to provide service beyond -- and of course, if you're waiting out the storm on the ground, you'll have at least one balloon to connect with for a while.
 
+Project Loon How deep into stratosphere does underlying weather usually penetrate? If I'm recalling the previous posts correctly, the Loons have been operating at the lower edge of the stratosphere. I imagine some of the flights have a bit higher; any idea if adjusting standard operating altitude (upwards) would allow Loons to really overfly the weather?
 
+Ash Clarke http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/06/30/bee.decline.mobile.phones/index.html
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/are-mobile-phones-wiping-out-our-bees-444768.html
http://moef.nic.in/downloads/public-information/final_mobile_towers_report.pdf

i find it really strange that despite establishing correlation, there were not very many follow up on these researches.

studies that dismisses this fact were much more numerous and widely publicized,

people are skeptical i get it, and some giant global companies would jump at any chance to dismiss it.

One would say, these researches used a handset inside a beehive, thats never gonna happen in real life, 
but honestly i wouldnt care about any research,  i myself have been disturbed since coming across wireless signals in neighbouring bedrooms, no real pain, but it felt like i became oblivious to the small branches of my thoughts that i used to have in the past.  

You would think, its probably only me and my imagination that actually lost bit parts of my thoughts to the signals. Yeah, that may be true, but I have an opinion and thats why I go against this. I would probably not mind if google is really doing this for the kids in africa, without a hidden second,third, or who knows how many hundred other benefits that im sure many of you can imagine if you are an organization and you have a global network of baloon.
 
+Project Loon  1) which is the device that makes the balloon  go up and down? How it works?   2) How the balloon knows the wind direction before up or down ?
I've read all site but I could find these answers. Tnx!
 
Two chambers in the balloon, the top chamber is filled with helium, the bottom is an air chamber. By forcing air into or releasing it from the bottom, will raise or lower the balloon.
 
+Ingo Harms Great point. According to the environmental scientists we’ve been working with, this could be a really interesting means of collecting real-time weather data, which could help researchers with their work. We’re still figuring out what this could look like, but agree there is a lot of promise.
 
The orbital wind steering the balloon.. that's a great concept. But, what if the wind is faster enough.. to blow it away from the vortex ? And also I didn't understand the way.. how you would bring down those loons for maintenance ?
 
+Ofaina Taofifenua
These distances are accurate. We use GPS to keep track of our balloons’ positions. It may be worth noting that these distances are distances traveled - they are the distances that would have been recorded, for example, if I-74 had been equipped with an odometer.
 
+Project Loon Ok tks.
I'm toying with maths at home to look around the immoderation of this great project.
Some minds here are computing how many baloons are needed to cover non covered inhabited land.
Can you keep us updated on numbers (distance of wifi, altitude of baloons, distances travelled) ?
Cheers and keep it going. Let there be light !
 
How is I-74 being tracked? Satellites? Ground Stations?
 
how about using light metal as the bulloon's coating to increase the life cycle?
 
+Martin Warczynski
So if I understand you correctly:  The loons are fitted with a certain amount of helium enough to take them to the stratosphere. When they need to keep altitude they suck in air and that being heavier than helium  achieves boiency. Now if the loons have to be taken up further they release air or if they need to be lowered to ground level suck more air. helium is not lost at all.  Is that how it works???

This question is posed to Project Loon as well...

Thanks
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