Facebook to Use Solar-Powered Drones to Beam Internet

published: 2015-03-30 10:09 | editor: | category: News

Facebook announced on the second day of its F8 conference its plans on beaming down the internet to billions of people around the world.

Codenamed Aquila, the drone has a wingspan comparable to a Boeing 767 yet uses lightweight materials that allow it to weigh less than a car. Because Aquila is going to be kept aloft for as long as three months at a time using solar power, it has to be extremely light. Just staying in the air for that long is a challenge, but Facebook’s also going to be pushing internet access down to people 60,000-90,000 feet below using lasers, as well as maintaining communications between drones to maintain coverage across wider regions.

During that day’s keynote, Facebook also announced that it open sourced its development tool React Native, and showed off new artificial intelligence systems that can identify and understand the meaning of video and text content.

Aquila is the first complete concept come out of Facebook’s acqui-hires of engineers from UK-based Ascenta, unveiled nearly a year ago today. Facebook says it’ll begin test flights this summer, with a broader rollout over the next several years.

 

Article Source/Photo Source: Techcrunch 

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