JNN 15 Mar 2014 Chicago : one ambitious organisation called the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) is planning to turn the age of online computing on its head by giving free web access to every person on Earth.
A New York City-based company, the Media Development Investment Fund, plans to launch hundreds of low-cost miniature satellites known as “cubesats” into orbit around the Earth to create the Outernet, a wireless connection to the Web available for free to every person in the world. If everything goes according to plan, the Outernet could be here as soon as June 2015.
Known as Outernet, MDIF plans to launch hundreds of satellites into orbit by 2015.
And they say the project could provide unrestricted Internet access to countries where their web access is censored, including Pakistan , Iran , China and North Korea.
Using something known as datacasting technology, which involves sending data over wide radio waves, the New York-based company says they’ll be able to broadcast the Internet around the world.
The group is hoping to raise tens of millions of dollars in donations to get the project on the road.
The Outernet team claim that only 60% of the world’s population currently have access to the wealth of knowledge that can be found on the Internet.
This is because, despite a wide spread of Wi-FI devices across the globe, many countries are unable or unwilling to provide people with the infrastructure needed to access the web.
The company’s plan is to launch hundreds of low-cost miniature satellites, known as cubesats, into low Earth orbit.
Here, each satellite will receive data from a network of ground stations across the globe.
Using a technique known as User Datagram Protocol (UDP) multitasking, which is the sharing of data between users on a network, Outernet will beam information to users.
Much like how you receive a signal on your television and flick through channels, Outernet will broadcast the Internet to you and allow you to flick through certain websites.
We have a very solid understanding of the costs involved, as well as experience working on numerous spacecraft,’ said Project Lead of Outernet Syed Karim, who fielded some questions on Reddit.
MDIF is hoping to raise millions of dollars in donations to get the Outernet off the ground. The goal is to have prototype satellites developed by this June. By September, MDIF is hoping NASA will give permissions to test Outernet technology on the International Space Station.
‘There isn’t a lot of raw research that is being done here; much of what is being described has already been proven by other small satellite programs and experiments.
There’s really nothing that is technically impossible to this’
But at the prospect of telecoms operators trying to shut the project down before it gets off the ground, Karim said: ‘We will fight… and win.’
If everything goes as per plan, the Outernet project aims to ask NASA for permission to test the technology on the International Space Station.
And their ultimate goal will be to beginning deploying the Outernet satellites into Earth orbit, which they say can begin in June 2015.
- DECEMBER 2013 – Phase I Technical Assessment
- JUNE 2014 – Development of prototype satellites and testing of long range WiFi multicasting.
- SEPTEMBER 2014 – Transmission testing in flight-like environments (requesting time on the International Space Station)
- JANUARY 2015 – Launch and testing of constellation operations
- APRIL 2015 – Establish manufacturing process for hundreds of satellites
- JUNE 2015 – Begin deployment of Outernet as launch schedule permit