Feeds

Russians to get broadband by spy plane

SpySky net

Business security measures using SSL

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. ®

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.