Loon Balloon not a crash: Minister

2016-02-18 15:03:32

The Google’s Loon Balloon which was widely reported as crashed in Gampola had in fact navigated and safe-landed remotely by Google’s Loon Centre, Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Minister Harin Fernando said.

While addressing the media this morning, the Minister said that the main Air Traffic Control Tower, Google Loon Balloon Centre team in Sri Lanka coordinated the landing procedure.

A team from Google had arrived in the country to test the Loon Balloon operations.

The Minister said the test had created rumors in the country as crash landing of the Google Loon balloon.

He requested the people to not to carry out such rumours and the test landing project of the first Google Loon Balloon was successful.

“We have planned to land it in a tea estate in the Gampola area. Those balloons are filled with Helium.
“The balloon lands by releasing the gas slowly. When the time it starts to release its gas, the balloon comes down,” he explained.

“During the last phase of the landing the transmission unit comes down fast as the Helium in the balloon is not enough to carry the unit’s weight, which people see as “crash landing”,” he explained.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, ICTA Information Infrastructure Programme Manager Gavaskar Subramaniam said the Loon Centre in California launched the safety landing procedure as a part of the testing procedure.

After entering the Sri stratosphere the balloon was hovering over the Southern part of the island.
“As the testing procedure by the Google Loon Centre was activated the balloon was remotely navigated and send to the hill country for safe landing,” he said.

All data in the balloon’s unit had been recovered and will be sent to the Google Centre by the ICTA.

“Another data backup had also been taken out remotely by the Google Loon Centre before the balloon landed,” Gavaskar said.

Another three Loon balloons had already been launched by the California Loon Centre.

One balloon will be entering the Sri Lankan stratosphere within the next few days and the other two balloons will enter within the next thirteen days for coverage testing procedures.

When contacted the Police they had reported a balloon like object had fallen in the Kahagala Watta area in Pupuressa, Gampola last night. (Chaturanga Pradeep, Yohan Perera)

Video by Richan

Video by Suranga Rajanayaka

Pix by Suranga Rajanayaka

  Comments - 10

  • kge Thursday, 18 February 2016 15:35

    4G LTE is already deployed in SL by Dialog and Mobitel, over 100 countries already have LTE networks, pity that the Digital Minister is ignorant of this.

    Reply : 0       3

    geriatrix Thursday, 18 February 2016 16:59

    Stay out of it if you dont know what this technology is about

    Reply : 1       2

    Bala Thursday, 18 February 2016 15:47

    Usual story - everyone in Sri Lanka wants to see things negatively even when things are done exceedingly well.

    Reply : 1       2

    sdk20 Thursday, 18 February 2016 16:40

    4 G is available in sri Lanka , But these balloons will eneble 4 G services to all part of Sri Lanka ..

    Reply : 0       2

    gamaati Thursday, 18 February 2016 16:52

    4G lte is availble only in a limited urban area as of now.

    Reply : 0       3

    Dutchy Thursday, 18 February 2016 17:00

    The Loon balloon safe landed nowhere!

    Reply : 1       1

    Pottaya Thursday, 18 February 2016 20:55

    It "safely landed" in the middle of a tea plantation with all parts scattered all over the place so that plantation workers could pick them up and carry them to their huts. Do these politicians think that we are baboons .... just like them?

    Reply : 0       2

    mnsmart Thursday, 18 February 2016 19:24

    Wele suda is from Gampola

    Reply : 1       0

    upali Friday, 19 February 2016 10:50

    Please do a basic calculations on weight against landing time & required helium way. via DM Android App

    Reply : 1       0

    Lalith Wijeweera Friday, 19 February 2016 14:56

    What a safe landing even distress air crafts should land like this way.//////

    Reply : 0       2

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