TechToCloud: According to a recently published patent, Google Inc. plans to create a satellite constellation of around 1000 satellites orbiting around the earth and covering around 75% of its surface. The satellites will be divided into two overlapping groups, each group will have a different altitude and inclination angle with respect to the earth equator.
Google Inc. has been working to spread the reach of the internet across the world. The company is providing free WiFi at railways stations in countries like India using the wired network of a government company. Although fiber is the fastest form of internet connection, it won’t be possible to lay wires everywhere. That’s why the company came up with concepts like Project Loon.However, there is another massive, ambitious project in the works. It is far more than flying remote-controlled balloons. According to a patent (US 20170005719) filed by Google Inc. and spotted by PatentYogi, the company is making efforts to build a constellation of satellites moving along specified trajectories around the Earth. They will be used to establish communication, even at places beyond the reach of existing wired and wireless networks.
The constellation will comprise of two groups (layers) of satellites which will include both geostationary and non-geostationary satellites. The altitude and inclination angle (with respect to earth’s equator) will be different for the two layers.
Google’s satellite constellation is expected to include around 1000 satellites and the exchange of information (data) will be done through numerous ground stations. The two satellite layers – arranged to cover around 75% of the earth – will help in keeping the communications uninterrupted by working in harmony and coordination, such that the upper satellite group overlaps the lower one. It will prevent communication outage in case a satellite becomes inactive for a while.
If this extensive network becomes reality, it will be of great utility to the people and organizations across the world. For instance, these satellites can be used to fuel global internet connectivity, navigation, weather analysis, military operations, etc.
The patent US 20170005179, filed by Google Inc. on September 30, 2014, was published by the United Stated Patent Office on January 5, 2017.
What do you think about Google satellite constellation? Drop your thoughts in the comments.