Facebook to Expand Internet Coverage Using Drones

Facebook to Expand Internet Coverage Using Drones

“Everything starts from a scratch”— it is said. And, Facebook turned out to be one of those many to start from nothing to everything as of today. We are addicted to using Facebook, admit that. And why shouldn’t we? Facebook fills the gaps that our daily life and activities fail to admire. Call it being socially active, connected, engaged etc etc or rather simply say ‘being social’, Facebook does it all. Started off merely as a meet up channel, Facebook transformed itself into a big giant in the span of few years. Moving ahead, the company has put its best foot forward in extending internet connectivity across the world.

Facebook is on a mission to bring the internet to the whole world using a giant solar-powered drone with a wingspan of an airliner. The drone flies merely on the power of roughly three hairdryers. “In our effort to connect the whole world with Internet.org, we’ve been working on ways to beam internet to people from the sky. Our goal with Internet.org is to make affordable access to basic internet services available to every person in the world,” writes Mark Zuckerberg on his Facebook wall.

For the same, the drone named ‘Aquila’ completed its first successful flight in Yuma, Arizona, according to a post on Facebook from Mark Zuckerberg’s account on July 21st. A fleet of drones are intended to fly at 60,000 feet above ground for months at a time and beam the internet to remote parts of the world.

Last year, Facebook initiated a project of making internet access easy in Philippines and Paraguay by partnering with operators. This raised the number of people using mobile data to double and eventually the project helped three million new people to access the internet. Hence, keeping in view this huge success, the company kick started a massive deal of making internet accessible to the whole world.

The team working on building the drone involves world’s leading experts in aerospace and communications technology, including those from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and Ames Research Center. After two years of development, the drone stayed in air for approx. 96 minutes. However, it’s not ready for a full-scale operation yet. Zuckerberg said that the 1,000-pound drone needs to be lighter to last in the air for longer spans.

Facebook is also working on adjusting power, weight capacity and a communications payload that will use lasers to transfer data more than 10 times faster than existing systems. “Over the next year we’re going to keep testing Aquila — flying higher and longer, and adding more planes and payloads,” Zuckerberg said in a post on Facebook. “It’s all part of our mission to connect the world and help more of the 4 billion people who are not online access all the opportunities of the internet.”

Now that’s cool!


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