MeshPoint in the sky (balloons and drones)

A project log for MeshPoint - wifi router for humanitarian crisis

Autonomous, smart, wifi mesh router which is easy to use by humanitarian NGO first responders during humanitarian or natural disasters.

Valent TurkovicValent Turkovic 07/24/2017 at 12:210 Comments

During crisis situations telecommunication infrastructure is often disrupted and in order to bring connectivity to affected areas we decided to use balloons and drones.

We plan to use balloons and drones in order to have line-of-sight communication between two MeshPoint routers. We need to take them around 25-35 meter above the ground if terrain is flat. We only need to be few meters above tree line, and in hilly areas we would use terrain to our advantage and setup MeshPoint on highest local point (small hill top) or on top of buildings if we are close to urban areas.

We have bought Totex CR800 japanese military meteo balloons that can carry 800g of weight. We plan to deploy them soon and then update build log after that.


Also we have build a custom DIY drone that could also be used to keep MeshPoint at desired altitude and powered via land tether. We are now searching for power cable that has is light and still can handle power requirements (around 850W - 17V and 50A).

We tested how much our drone uses power when under full load (with 1.5kg of weight).