I just need to have a webcam and some equipment on a kite, running on Ethernet. But unfortunately the string will be more than 200 meters long so Ethernet will not work, (as far as I know). Transfer speed should be at least 10mbps. This is scientific project for Antarctic research station.

So what technology do you guys suggest?

  • 5
    use fiber optics? Nov 22, 2013 at 19:03
  • If fiber could take the stress -- I hear it's damned cold down there. I was thinking LRE (long reach ethernet), or some sort of DSL bridge. Until you said "Antarctic", I was thinking WiFi, but that might not work so well in dense snow.
    – Ricky
    Nov 22, 2013 at 20:49
  • @RickyBeam, that depends on what you buy Nov 22, 2013 at 21:50
  • @Mike, if his kite can lug 100+lbs of cable into the air, plus the instrumentation, and it stays above -50C.
    – Ricky
    Nov 23, 2013 at 0:02
  • Maybe a silly question, but why not just store the data inboard the kite and retrieve it later. SSDs are dirt cheap and lighter than almost any solution we'd propose. Also why a kite? Most arial survey/research I've seen uses balloons, which I would believe have a much higher load capacity. Nov 23, 2013 at 13:32

1 Answer 1


Something like this:


There are many other devices that will use PoE as a power source (and still forward voltage) and can act as a passive repeater. I would only recommend it as a temporary solution though.

Depending on the weight your kite can support it may be a better idea to go with a P2P wireless bridge. You can achieve really good signal quality with homemade wireless antennas at distances up to 2 miles with simple pringles can builds.

see also:
http://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Low-Cost-WiFi-Antenna http://wireless.gumph.org/articles/homemadeomni.html

  • ...I wonder if he could jury-rig a small switch/battery package to hang on the kite guy wire. If it was light enough, you could stretch the ethernet out multiple hops that way. (oh, what a hack. :) Nov 22, 2013 at 18:21

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