Google experiments Project Loon in Fresno

August 12, 2013 2:45:00 PM PDT
Tech giant Google has turned to the skies above Fresno as the latest site for a test of an experimental balloon-based internet technology.

The company envisions "Project Loon" as a "network of balloons traveling on the edge of space that would connect people in rural and remote areas with wireless internet."

Google first demonstrated the technology in New Zealand in June. The Fresno test site was chosen both for its proximity to the company's Mountain View headquarters, and its relatively flat terrain. The balloons beam the internet down to earth as they float in the sky.

Google hopes to launch thousands of them twelve miles into the stratosphere, that way they are out of sight and can gather plenty of solar power. Each balloon can provide internet service for an area twice the size of New York City.