The Auxilium Network
High-altitude balloons are a promising technology for providing high-speed wireless internet in remote regions of Canada. In this project, we propose a simple, cheap and effective distributed control mechanism for the design of air-based wireless internet systems for deployment in remote regions of Canada. This technology could facilitate the availability of fast and reliable internet connection in remote regions of Canada. The main motivation is to improve the efficiency of the response to crisis situations such as the recent Covid-19 pandemic. The possibility of an outbreak of COVID-19 could be devastating in remote communities. The proposed technology is needed to improve emergency response to remote regions.
The problem considered is to force a fleet of balloons to achieve a formation that maximizes the connectivity for every user within a fixed geographical region, while maintaining ATC separation criteria from any other controlled or uncontrolled aircraft or airship. The balloons are assumed to be floating passively on wind currents in the stratosphere. To ensure connectivity, the balloons must be arranged in a formation that ensures that every user is close to at least one balloon. A model-free distributed control and optimization approach is developed for the design of the balloon formation control system.