Facebook’s Internet Beaming UAV Is Ready, Will Fly Three-Month Trial

Facebook's internet beaming UAV dubbedAquila 1 photo
Photo: Facebook
Its wingspan is the size of a Boeing 737, but it weighs similar to what a car does. Facebook calls it Aquila, and the ground-breaking aircraft is here to change the world by providing internet access to the 10% of the world who live in remote places. Wait, there’s more.
Imagine this, out of approximately 4 billion people who are not yet online, Facebook claims they managed to provide more than a billion people with access to relevant basic internet services in one year. Sure, they didn't do it by themselves, they worked with mobile operators across 17 countries. It’s the social network giant’s plan to connect the entire world, eventually, called We’re pretty sure you’ve heard of it, by now.

As we said, 10 percent of the planet live in remote areas which means they don’t live within range of at least a 3G wireless signal. In these areas precisely, Facebook wants to send their drones. Aquila is a high-altitude, long-endurance aircraft that has a unique design and carbon-fiber frame.

When deployed, it will be able to circle a remote region for up to 90 days, beaming connectivity down to people from an impressive altitude of 60,000 to 90,000 feet (18,288 meters to 27,432 meters). As if this wasn’t enough, Mark Zuckerberg’s IT giant announced they also achieved a significant performance breakthrough in terms of laser communications.

Here’s a bit of the company’s press release: “They [Facebook’s design communications team in Woodland Hills, California]’ve designed and lab-tested a laser that can deliver data at 10s of Gb per second - approximately 10 times faster than the previous state-of-the-art in the industry - to a target the size of a dime from more than 10 miles away.”

Wow, the internet must pay off somehow, doesn’t it?

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