An international project is developing new technology that can be installed into high altitude platforms - such as solar powered aircraft or airships - to make Broadband Internet access available to remote areas and moving trains.
With the help of 3.1 million euros from the EU’s Framework Programme, the CAPANINA project brings together 13 partners from across Europe and Japan and is named after the restaurant in Italy where initial discussions were held. It will develop the equipment to operate from aircraft or airships operating as ‘High Altitude Platforms’ (HAPs) that are permanently located in the sky. Placing these HAPs at an altitude of 20 kilometers - well above the flight path of normal aeroplanes but below satellites - will provide a cheaper and more efficient solution than those currently available, as they do not require underground cabling or masts.
“The HAPs technology is an interesting potential solution for delivering Broadband Internet to rural, suburban and other hard-to-reach areas”, says Peter Walters, FP6UK National Contact Point for IST. “Demand for fast communication is increasing all over the world, and this technology offers an innovative way of delivering broadband inexpensively to people at home, in the office, and on the move.
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