And now it’s time to beam internet through drones. Facebook has built a large fleet of solar powered drones, which uses laser technology to deliver internet connectivity to hundreds of millions of people who still remain unconnected.
Aquila, as the V-shaped carbon fiber craft is known, is powered by two propellers and has a wingspan of about 42 meters which is equal to a Boeing 737 airliner. This solar powered drone would weigh as low as 400 kilograms when equipped with all the gear required for communication and its flight.
Facebook has not yet tested final model but is working on one –tenth scale prototypes over the UK since March. The final model of Aquila is under structural tests and will be tested before the end of this year
How does it work?
The plane is built from two layers of lightweight carbon fiber material that pack in a layer of foam.The entire outside shell will be covered in solar panels.
Aquila is initially transported into stratosphere by a Helium balloon, where it would cut loose at altitudes of between 18 and 27 kilometers.
Each of the drones will carry radio equipment to provide internet connectivity to satellite receivers inside a roughly 50 mile radius on the ground below. The drone will also host equipment that are part of high speed communications using Laser Beans.
The concept is that the Facebook will create aerial chains with help of drones to link several remote areas to the Internet. The drone nearest an urban area would use its laser to hook into the global Internet, and that connectivity would be passed down the line to drones over remote areas using the laser links. At a time presently the record for the aircraft staying afloat is two weeks.
With an intention to connect whole world Facebook has initiated Internet.org,which would provide an access to basic website free of cost. But later it faced some criticisms stating that it is violating Net Neutrality.
Other such projects:
While Facebook is working on its model another Silicon Valley giant Google has come out with Project Loon.
The idea behind Project Loon is to use helium balloons to provide internet in remote areas. The project has already been tested and the company is working to deploy it initially in Sri Lanka to provide free Internet across the country.
With these entire projects one can imagine that the future is connected and would make the Internet available to everyone which will be a necessary of life.
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