How to place mobile repeaters and video surveillance cameras high in the atmosphere?

How to place mobile repeaters and video surveillance cameras high in the atmosphere?

Today, most mobile communication devices transmit data either through numerous repeaters located on taller buildings and poles. The new mobile 5G network will have to have repeaters every few hundred meters as it requires optical visibility between the repeater and the cell phone.

For video surveillance of open space, all high-quality cameras are used that are placed on buildings, in traffic lights and on lighting poles. Such cameras are very useful for traffic surveillance, for preventive crime prevention, for fire protection and the like. In order for the video surveillance system to be effective, thousands of cameras are needed densely placed in cities. This problem could be solved by placing high quality cameras high in the air from where all the unusual behavior could be seen. Cars moving faster than the speed limit could be spotted, larger unforeseen gatherings of people could be seen, and in the case of a crime one could see where a man or car had gone or where it had come from. This would make the fight against crime much easier.

And the basic problem is how to place these repeaters and video surveillance high in the atmosphere?

The Great Powers have satellites that have cameras and transmitters for satellite mobiles. The problem is that satellites are very expensive, but they are also too high. Because of this, satellites take photos of the area they pass over, but they cannot constantly capture a specific area. Satellite cell phones also have a limited number of frequencies so using satellite connections is very expensive.

The problem of setting up repeaters and video surveillance can be solved by stratospheric balloons or airplanes, solar-powered drones that constantly fly over a certain location without landing. Solar stratospheric balloons that always stay in one place already exist, but have little energy at their disposal, but even after a while they have to go down.

In its Loon project, Google has developed the possibility of bringing the Internet to remote parts of the world.

The U.S. military science agency DARPA is already testing stratospheric balloons that should never land. In their ALTA (Adaptable Lighter - Than - Air) balloon project, the possibility was developed for these balloons to be used to monitor hurricanes, ensure communication in areas affected by natural disasters, to monitor land and sea borders, and to spy. To keep the balloon in the stratosphere always in one place, it has a Ball Aerospace Strat-OAWL sensor that can detect wind blowing speeds and directions over long distances (up to 14 km) with an accuracy of more than one meter per second. Since the winds blow at different heights in different directions, the balloon changes its direction of movement by changing its height, and thus always remains in one place. These balls carry photocells that produce energy for a smaller amount of electronics, but do not have sufficient capacity for larger consumers of electricity. And photocells have their own weight so a balloon can’t carry much.

Another solution is "solar-powered unmanned aircraft" that can stay in one place for months. The Americans have made a plane like this that can fly indefinitely, but it does not have enough energy to run accessories such as video surveillance or cell phone repeaters. The photocells located on its wings produce enough energy to start the engine, and to charge the batteries it flies at night, but they cannot produce enough energy for additional needs. The surface of photocells is limited by the surface of the wing, and the photocells themselves have their own weight that the plane must carry.

In order to solve the energy problem, it is necessary to produce more efficient photocells that produce more energy, but it is also necessary to place them in a position towards the sun where they can produce more energy.

This year, flexible photocells with an efficiency factor above 30% appeared on the market.

And their capacity in energy production can be increased by installing them in a long narrow balloon shown in the picture above.

The balloon (1) looks like a long tube. Under the balloon (1) on the rope (3) hangs a cargo pipe (2) in which there are batteries, electric motors and all other equipment. This long and narrow cargo tube (2) has a propeller (4) at its top that moves the balloon in the required direction. In this way, the balloon (1) would not have to perform its location by changing the height in order to catch the wind of the required direction, but the propeller (4) would be driven by an electric motor.

The upper wall of the balloon (5) is made of transparent material that lets in sunlight.

The lower wall of the balloon (6) is made of a reflective material such as aluminum foil.

At the bottom of the lower wall of the balloon (6) there is a narrower photocell (7) that extends the entire length of the balloon (1).

In order for this photocell (7) to produce the maximum amount of energy, it is necessary to place it in the optimal position in relation to the sun at all times. This is achieved with the help of ropes (3) that connect the balloon (1) with the cargo pipe (2). In this cargo pipe (2) there are small electric motors that can pull the ropes (3) on one side and loosen them on the other side. In this way, the balloon (1) can rotate 180 degrees relative to its axis. By rotating the balloon (1), the photocell (7) is placed in the optimal position in relation to the sun. This can increase the amount of electricity produced by several times. In addition, the lower wall of the balloon (6) reflects sunlight towards the photocell (7) whereby the electricity production of the photocell (7) can be increased by several more times.

Thanks to this multiplied efficiency of photocells (7) in the production of electricity, the amount of energy obtained is much higher than necessary for the control of the balloon (1) and its positioning above a certain place.

This energy can be used to drive quality video cameras, and for repeaters located on the underside of the cargo tube (2).

Such a balloon could be located above all large cities, but also above uninhabited parts of the country. Those located above cities should have much more focused cameras, and repeaters with a much higher number of frequencies. Balloons located above uninhabited areas or above the ocean should have cameras with a much wider tuned lens, and repeaters could be with less frequency but also with a longer range.

Such stationary balloons could do everything that military satellites are used for today.

In addition to video surveillance and mobile communication, it can be used for real-time continuous visual data, for tracking crops or herds, for tracking trucks of merchants, for studying samples of urban traffic, for detecting fires in the beginning and the like.

The advantage of "stratospheric spatial bubbles" with "continuous" geospatial coverage is the price of mobile services. That price will be tens of times lower than the price of satellite phones. And that price will enable the gradual abolition of terrestrial repeaters, as the new 5G and 6G networks require optical visibility between repeaters and mobile phones, and this is easiest to achieve with repeaters that are high above us.


Other of my technical analyzes and innovations can be found in this book.