Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sioux Falls balloons deliver cell service to Puerto Rico

By on October 10, 2017

Telecommunications towers. (iStock)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Huge balloons made by a Sioux Falls company are headed to Puerto Rico where they’ll provide crucial cellular service to the hurricane-ravaged Caribbean island.

The Federal Communications Commission has granted a temporary license to Google to deploy the experimental high-altitude balloons, called Project Loon, in the skies above Puerto Rico. The balloons are made by the Aerostar Division of Raven Industries, based in Sioux Falls.

The Argus Leader says Project Loon’s network of solar-powered balloons beams cell signals down from about 12 miles above the ground.

Hurricane Maria knocked out about 82 percent of cell sites in Puerto Rico.

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