Raven Industries based in Sioux Falls announced today that it has teamed up with Google to provide high speed wireless internet to rural, remote and underserved areas of the world.
Google is using the Raven designed high-tech balloons as part of its balloon powered internet access, called Project Loon.
After several months of working closely with Google, Raven and the program began a successful trial this week. While the program is still in the early stages, the trial involved 30 balloons in New Zealand covering 10,000 square kilometers.
The balloons are 60 feet tall and can fly at an altitude of 66,000 feet. The team can control the path of the balloon as they move through the sky, as well as control their altitude so they can sail on the wind at the right speed and direction.
Software developed by Google manages the fleet of balloons.