Different technology companies are using drones for various reasons. Amazon wants to use drones for delivering goods and Google and Facebook want to use them for providing Internet connectivity. Facebook has designed a solar-powered drone that uses as little power as used by a hair dryer or a microwave.
The wingspan of the solar-powered drone from Facebook is as large as a Boeing 737 but ways as little as a Prius, and it will be able to fly between 60,000 to 90,000 attitudes. It is expected to remain, if I have been able to understand it properly, in the air for a period of three months before it needs to be taken down. It is completely covered with solar panels. Once installed up in the air, the drone will be able to beam hundreds of gigabytes per second.
Here is the video of the solar-powered drone from Facebook.
Doesn’t it look like a slimmer version of the Stealth bomber?
The solar-powered drone from Facebook will be used to provide Internet connectivity to remote areas. The demo flight of the drone that has been named Aquila lasted for 90 minutes, which is three times longer than expected, according to Facebook. Smaller flights have been organized in the past ever since the solar-powered drone from Facebook was announced back in March 2015 during the F8 conference at it’s for the first time that such a long flight has been carried out.
According to the company’s official statement, “Aquila is a solar-powered airplane that can be used to bring affordable Internet to hundreds of millions of people in the hardest-to-reach places. When complete, Aquila will be able to circle the region up to 60 miles in diameter, beaming connectivity down from an altitude of more than 60,000 feet using laser communications and millimeter wave systems.”
Aquila, the solar-powered drone from Facebook is a part of the Internet.org initiative triggered by Mark Zuckerberg last year.
Are the solar-powered drones ready to be used in the real world? Not necessarily. It might be years before they can be kept flying for months, communicating with each other as well is beaming the Internet connection down and elsewhere, but the solar-powered drone from Facebook is a big step forward towards creating broadcasting and delivery systems that do not solely depend on conventional energy sources.