[Olsr-users] Hello from Pirate Party Sweden

Robert Keyes (spam-protected)
Fri Nov 5 18:37:40 CET 2010

Regarding a balloon mesh node:

A problem with balloons is the drift caused by wind. Guy-wires (tethers) 
can help fix this, but a more interesting idea is to harness the 'Magnus 
Effect'. This effect is where the attachment of wind-turbine blades to the 
balloon will keep it stable, while also potentially providing power.

The most appropriate antenna to use on a balloon-node will change with the 
elevation (or is 'altitude' the appropriate word?) of the balloon, and 
also the node's intended purpose. You may find that the node 'hears' too 
many signals at such a height. For this reason, you may want to choose 
802.11A at 5 Ghz instead of 802.11g at 2.4 Ghz. I am not sure if the 5 Ghz 
band is allocated for WiFi in your country.

When constructing the node, make sure it is safe from lightning, 
temperature extremes, wind, sun, and birds(!). There may be requirements 
for notification of air-traffic-control, and the placement of a lighted 
beacon (a blinking strobe light) on the node in order to minimize the 
danger to aircraft. In areas close to airports, there is often prohibition 
of any structure over 50 meters or so, and this may apply to your balloon.

Some amateur radio operators have placed repeaters in balloons for 
short-term use. You may want to consult with these people.

Good Luck!


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