Facebook’s Internet Drones Will Be The Size Of Boeing 747 And Fly For Years
Earlier this year, Facebook announced that they are working on solar-powered drones to deliver and improve Internet access around the World. The social network company also revealed details of its Connectivity Lab, a team of people, including experts from NASA, which is working on new aerospace and communications technologies with the aim of expanding global Internet access solar-powered drones to deliver and improve Internet access around the World. The social network company also revealed details of its Connectivity Lab, a team of people, including experts from NASA, which is working on new aerospace and communications technologies with the aim of expanding global Internet access.
At that time, Yael Maguire, the Facebook Connectivity Lab Leader, spoke about the different ways the company was looking to extend the reach of existing Internet connections: “We’re looking at a new type of plane architecture that flies at roughly 20,000 meters, because that’s a point where winds are at their lowest, it’s above commercial airlines, it’s even above the weather, and actually it can stay in the air for months at a time. These planes are solar-powered and they sit there and circle around, and have the ability to broadcast Internet down.”
And in a recent interview, when was asked about the project’s status, Yael Maguire has leaked more mind-boggling details, including the fact that Facebook envisions drones the size of a Boeing 747 commercial airplane and wants to keep them flying for months, even years, at a time.
“In order for us to fly these planes – unmanned planes that have to fly for months, or perhaps years at a time – we actually have to fly above the weather, above all airspaces”. Maguire also said that the drones should be thought of as a plane because they will be “roughly the size of a commercial aircraft, like a 747”. He later compared one drone design in Facebook’s Lab to the length of “six or seven Toyota Priuses” but said it only weighs as much as four of the car’s tires.
Facebook will begin testing its drones in the U.S next year, with a view to deploying them over Latin America, Africa and Asia once the trials have concluded. However, it’s unclear how Facebook will able to comply with the various aircraft restrictions in any of these countries.
Aim to bringing Internet Connectivity, and of course, its namesake social network to wherever in this world, Facebook has launched Internet.org, a nonprofit organization with partnerships with telecom industry giants like Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung. However, they have been working separately and independently on this drone project. Meanwhile, Google is still working on its Google’s Project Loon, which uses untethered balloons flying in the stratosphere to broadcast Internet connections. The balloons create a mesh network at the same altitude that Facebook’s solar planes would occupy and provide 3G speeds.
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