Latest Patent - Google plans to integrate antennas into envelopes of its balloons

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Problems solved by this invention
Google’s Project Loon is a research and development project being developed by Google X with the mission of providing Internet access to rural and remote areas. The project uses high-altitude balloons placed in the stratosphere at an altitude of about 32 km (20 mi) to create an aerial wireless network with up to 3G-like speeds.

Current high-altitude balloons can include an envelope and a payload which are connected via wires. In some cases, the payload can include a communications receiver. The envelope does not provide any other advantage other than providing lift.
Solution proposed by this invention
The balloon includes a payload and an envelope. The envelope can include at least a first antenna section and a second antenna section. Both the first antenna section and the second antenna section are configured at least to receive signals and convey the received signals to the payload. The first antenna section includes a first metallization pattern to receive a first type of signal. The second antenna section includes a second metallization pattern to receive a second type of signal; the first metallization pattern being different from the second metallization pattern.
Patent Information
Patent Number: 9,153,854
Patent Title: Integration of antenna structures into balloon envelopes

Inventors: Biffle; Cliff L. (Mountain View, CA), DeVaul; Richard Wayne (Mountain View, CA), Weaver; Joshua (Mountain View, CA), Staaf; Anton Valdemar (San Jose, CA), Teller; Eric (Palo Alto, CA), Cassidy; Michael (Menlo Park, CA)
Assignee: Google Inc. (Mountain View, CA)
Family ID: 1000000302762
Appl. No.: 13/712,618
Filed: December 12, 2012

Abstract: Methods and apparatus are disclosed for receiving and transmitting signals at a balloon. Received signals can be received at the balloon, which can include a payload and an envelope. The envelope can include at least a first antenna section and a second antenna section. Both the first and second antenna sections are configured at least to receive the received signals and convey at least the received signals to the payload. The first antenna section can include a first metallization pattern to receive a first type of signal. The second antenna section can include a second metallization pattern to receive a second type of signal, with the first metallization pattern being different from the second metallization pattern.

US9153854

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