Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Facebook Internet drone

Google has their "Loon" balloon-based internet access system almost ready to launch in the skies above Sri Lanka (maybe as early as next spring.)

Now Facebook has just announced that they'll be testing a large drone to deliver Internet to remote areas. Their project Aquila has been in development for a couple of years and it's a huge, high altitude (>60,000 feet), multi engine, solar powered drone that will deliver "tens of gigabits per second." 

It's got a wingspan larger than a 747 but it's obviously much lighter and will be able to fly for 90 days at a time. A constellation of these drones communicating via lasers "orbiting" 25 miles from each other will deliver Internet to remote locations.

Here's a fascinating video that describes the technology.

As this technology matures, even the most remote areas of the planet could be connected via the Internet cheaper and with higher bandwidth than satellite based systems.

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