The Airborne Internet is network in which all nodes would be located in aircraft. The network is intended for use in aviation communications, navigation, and surveillance (CNS) and would also be useful to businesses, private Internet users, and military. In time of war, for example, an airborne network might enable military planes to operate without the need for a communications infrastructure on the ground. Such a network could also allow civilian planes to continually monitor each other’s positions and flight paths.
Airborne Internet is network will serve tens of thousands of subscribers within a super-metropolitan area, by offering ubiquitous access throughout the networka„? s signal “footprint”. The aircrafts will carry the “hub” of a wireless network having a star topology. The aircrafts will fly in shifts to provide continuous service, 24 hour per day by 7 days per week, with an overall system reliability of 99. 9% or greater. At least three different methods have been proposed for putting communication nodes aloft. The first method would employ manned aircraft, the second method would use unmanned aircraft, and the third method would use blimps.
The nodes would provide air-to-air, surface-to-air, and surface-to-surface communications. The aircraft or blimps would fly at altitudes of around 16 km, and would cover regions of about 40 mi (64 mi) in radius. Any subscriber within this region will be able to access the networka„? s ubiquitous multi-gigabit per second “bit cloud” upon demand. what the airborne internet will do is provide an infrastructure that can reach areas that don’t have broadband cables & wires. Data transfer rates would be on the order of several gigagabits per second, comparable to those of high-speed cable modem connections.
Network users could communicate directly with other users, and indirectly with conventional Internet users through surface-based nodes. Like the Internet, the Airborne Network would use TCP/IP as the set of protocols for specifying network addresses and ensuring message packets arrive. This technology is also called High Altitude Long Operation (HALO) The concept of the Airborne Internet was first proposed at NASA Langley Research Center’s Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) Planning Conference in 1999.