Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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Disaster aid balloons

Posted: November 25, 2013

Disaster aid balloons

Graduate Student Nathan Hamet spoke with Lansing news station WLNS about disaster aid balloons, a simple tool being developed by the MBurst (Michigan Balloon Recovery & Satellite Testbed) student research team.

Hamet is a project manager for the team, which is led by Associate Professor Aaron Ridley.

High-altitude disaster aid balloons can take Wi-Fi routers over affected areas to connect with smart-phones on the ground. The idea is that there will be an application on the phone that can ping the phone’s location via the Wi-Fi connection.

"We would be able to see it through our internet routers and we would be able to see your location where you are trapped," Hamet told WLNS.

This kind of rapid response and reliable, real-time communication could mean the difference between life and death for disaster victims.

"Its simple and really easy to use and its deployable in a shot amount of time," Hamet added.

To read the full WLNS story and watch the video, click here.

To watch an MConneX video about Professor Ridley’s work on the balloons, click here.

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