Feeds

Russians to get broadband by spy plane

SpySky net

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Russian high-altitude spy planes may be given a new lease of life as platforms for telecoms services, if an audacious (and rather improbable) scheme ever gets off the ground.

Myasishchev M-55 were initially designed to intercept spy balloons after the US U-2 program was shut down. After the end of the Cold War, a modified version of the aircraft (the M-55 Geophysica) found service in scientific research roles. For example, one was used to study the arctic stratosphere in the late 1990s.

M-55 planes are still based on the original design, which included the facility to carry weapons to high altitude. This facility is now being repurposed to carry telecoms kit.

The idea is the planes could act as a platform for telecoms coverage in areas where satellite coverage is dodgy or for emergency relief in regions where the existing telecoms infrastructure has either been damaged or destroyed. By flying at high altitude the planes can potentially provide an uplink to a large area on the ground.

In principle, the scheme recalls the broadband by blimp idea that gets periodically floated every now and again but never seems to come to much. Nonetheless, Myasishchev reckons the idea is a goer. It plans to prove the concept with demonstration plane due to take the skies over Malaysia in February and March next year, Cellular News (which carries a pictures of the Cold War warhorse turned potential telecom platform) reports.

In other applications of the aircraft, a modified version of the M-55 is being considered as the launch aircraft for the C-21 suborbital rocketplane by Space Adventures, a space tourism firm. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.