By Ernest Worthman
November 24, 2015 — Another “you have got to be kidding me” Google moment. Google is asking the FCC for permission to use the 2.5 GHz band to test aircraft technology at the New Mexico Spaceport facility and at an Indian reservation in Warm Springs, Oregon.
I have commented on Google’s out-there schemes before. I have to give them credit for having more money than common sense. They have several such projects going, one Project Loon (add an “ey” to that), which is designed to deliver the Internet to under-served regions of the world, and Project Titan, which involves using drones to deliver packages. Both of these are “ambitious” shall we say. Guess what they want to test now.
Google wants to use 2.5 GHz band frequencies, solely, for communications payloads: to relay data communications between fixed ground stations via an aircraft, and not flight-related activities or communications to and from maritime or mobile satellites.
Their plan is to fly “aircraft” at maximum altitude of 25,000 feet, which is lower than the 60,000 feet at which that Loon(ey) balloons are located (Loon uses the cell phone you already own to talk to the balloons that, basically, act like cell towers in the sky). Google’s payload operations would consist of latency-tolerant data communications, which will not impact aircraft operations or safety of life, according to the company. They also claim that the operations would be spectrally separated from nearby bands by 15 megahertz, or more, and are not likely to cause harmful interference to distantly adjacent satellite services.
Well, I’ve got to hand it to Google to think outside of the box.