It seems they have kept their word because Aquila, Facebook’s solar-powered drone is finally ready to be launched. The craft took a bit over a year to be completed. The device was tested a few months ago in Great Britain.
The company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg broke the news on Saturday, on his Facebook page. The drone is meant to reach out to people who don’t have access to the Internet from various parts of the world.
The craft is not heavier than a car and its wings are similar the ones a Boeing 737 has. However, its most impressive feature lies in its ability to transmit at a rate of 10 gigabits/ second by means of a laser beam. This is about ten times faster than any other technology has ever allowed.
Its black wings are attached to the top of a fuselage that is made from a variety of square tubes that are painted in blue, Facebook’s already famous color.
Zuckerberg spoke about the drone and described it as extremely precise, much “like science fiction.” According to him, it is able to connect to an object not larger than a dime even if it is at 10 miles distance away from it.
According to Yael Maguire, Facebook’s Engineering Director of Connectivity, the drone will work about 60,000 to 90,000 feet high. It is able to stay airborne for about 3 months.
Even if most of the people living on Earth now have access to the Internet, the drone was designed especially for those 10 percent who still cannot connect. This means there are still about 1.1 to 2.8 billion people who don’t have Internet yet.
Many people commented on the piece of news on Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook page. While some of them applauded the initiative to provide Internet to people from rural areas, others worried about the fact that the drone might be used for surveillance or harmful computer code.
It still remains unclear when the engineers will start producing these drones on full scale but that moment can’t be too far.
Image Source: modernreaders