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Aquila, Facebook’s New Full-Scale Drone, to Help Access the Internet

Facebook has completed its full scale aircraft called the Aquila, which is part of a Facebook-led initiative called Internet.org. 
(Image: Facebook)
Facebook has completed its full scale aircraft called the Aquila, which is part of a Facebook-led initiative called Internet.org. (Image: Facebook)

Facebook has completed its full-scale aircraft called the Aquila, which is part of a Facebook-led initiative called Internet.org. The idea is to bring technology leaders, non-profits and local communities together to help connect people who don’t have Internet access.

An introduction to Internet.org:

Mark Zuckerberg wrote on this Facebook account: “I’m excited to announce we’ve completed construction of our first full-scale aircraft, Aquila, as part of our Internet.org effort.”

According to IFL Science: “The social media giant plans to deliver wireless Internet from the skies using Aquila, a full-scale aircraft capable of beaming wireless Internet using lasers.

“Aquila is named after the northern sky constellation and the bird that carried Zeus’s thunderbolts to battle in Greco-Roman mythology. The solar-powered aircraft weighs ‘less than a car’ and has the same wingspan as a Boeing 737.”

I’m excited to announce we’ve completed construction of our first full scale aircraft, Aquila, as part of our…

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, July 30, 2015

“This effort is important because 10% of the world’s population lives in areas without existing internet infrastructure,” wrote Zuckerberg.

 

“This effort is important because 10% of the world’s population lives in areas without existing Internet infrastructure,” wrote Zuckerberg.

Facebook said in a statement: “Our goal is to accelerate the development of a new set of technologies that can drastically change the economics of deploying internet infrastructure. We are exploring a number of different approaches to this challenge, including aircraft, satellites and terrestrial solutions.

“Our intention is not to build networks and then operate them ourselves, but rather to quickly advance the state of these technologies to the point that they become viable solutions for operators and other partners to deploy.

The broadcasting stats for Aquila are astonishingly accurate for such a craft, to “a point the size of a dime.”

Aquila is capable of sending data at 10s of gigabits per second from a distance of over 10 miles.

Engineers in the promo video below believe the drone will fly above the Earth at between 18.3 and 27.4 kilometers (60,000 and 90,000 feet) for 3-month periods before descending back down to Earth, IFL added.

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