Everything You Need To Know About Facebook’s New DroneDecember 22, 2017
Facebook’s solar drone will be showcased for the first time in London’s Victoria & Albert Museum.
The project was developed from a need to deliver connectivity to the four billion people who don’t have access to the internet.
The aircraft, Aquila, will use laser-beam technology to deliver internet to people in a 60-mile radius by transmitting signals that will be received by antennas of dishes and small towers. The antennas will then convert the signal into Wi-Fi or 4G networks.
“Eventually, our goal is to have a fleet of Aquilas flying together at 60,000 feet, communicating with each other with lasers and staying aloft for months at a time — something that’s never been done before,” wrote Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook post.
The energy the drone collects from the sun during the day is used to keep its heaters, light system, communications payload, avionics, and propellers running during the nighttime. It uses only 5,000W of power at cruising altitude, which is equivalent to three hair dryers.
The plane has currently completed two successful test flights in 2016 and 2017 but the final design hopes to have a drone that can fly without refuelling or human intervention for up to 90 days.
Aquila will go on display in the museum in May 2018 as part of an exhibit called, “The Future Starts Here” which showcases how science, art, and technology combine to help the world.