Extend America and Space Data Corp are working on a replacement for the conventional cell phone tower. They’re developing a technology that would use disposable, hydrogen-filled balloons as cell phone towers.
The hot air balloons would carry toaster-size communications pods 20 miles above the ground. The balloons would be umanned and uncontrolled. Once the balloon reaches the edge of its radius, it would jettison the communication pod with a parachute. The company would then use a tracking device to relocate the pod and shoot it up via another disposable hot air ballon.
Seem stupid? Well, actually, it may just work. Currently, North Dakota requires 1,100 cell phone towers for statewide coverage. It would only take three balloons to cover the state. Cell phone towers cost nearly $250,000. The balloons? $55.
They may just be on to something.
via Associated Press