EghteadOnline: A communication balloon that can be deployed during emergencies to provide telecommunication services was tested in Alborz Province.
Operated by Alborz Municipality ICT Organization and the provincial office of Disaster Mitigation and Management Organization (DMMO), the balloon will help in connections over an area with a radius of 40km, especially when ground-based infrastructure is lost due to earthquakes or other natural disasters, CITNA reported.
According to the head of Alborz DMMO, Mehdi Mehrvar, the province 25km west of Tehran is highly prone to natural disaster. “The technology can be used by the organization and other rescue and relief agencies to coordinate their operations during natural disasters.”
Recorded earthquakes and the geological evidence suggest that Alborz Province in one of the seismically active regions in Iran with several major faults crossing the land, the total length of which reaches 400km, Financial Tribune reported.
They include the northwestern fault of Karaj, Baghestan fault, Azimieh fault, Hesarak fault, Eslam-abad fault, Taleqan and Fardis faults as well as the far western tip of north Tehran fault and their minor branches.
Made by the Iranian Space Research Center, affiliated to the ICT Ministry, the hovering balloon can provide phone calls and Wi-Fi and 4G Internet, satellite communications and talk-back coverage to a wide area.
The technology can enable people to contact family and friends in addition to facilitating rescue and relief efforts.
To test the technology, last November the Iranian Space Research Center and the ICT Ministry deployed a communication balloon near the Iraqi border to facilitate Internet access for Iranian pilgrims visiting the neighboring country to attend the annual Arbaeen mourning ceremonies in the shrine city of Karbala.
The balloon, providing a 100-Mb Internet bandwidth was installed at an altitude of 500 meters. It was connected to a radio transmitter in the border city of Mehran.
Deploying emergency communication balloons are commonplace in the world. In October Google brought emergency connectivity to Puerto Rico through its Internet-by-balloon project after the Irma and Maria hurricanes flattened vast areas and left more than 90% of the island without cell phone coverage.