Facebook Drone, is designed, to beam internet access to remote areas of the globe. Facebook Drone, is a solar-powered drone, with a wingspan of a Boeing 737, which flies at 3,000 feet for an hour and 46 minutes.
Announcing the flight test, Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg, states, “We have successfully gathered a lot of data, to enable us to optimize Aquila’s efficiency” while announcing the test flight.
Mark Zuckerberg, further states that this drone will be a fleet of solar-powered planes, that will beam the internet connectivity, across the globe, when ready. He further stated that, currently, 4 billion people, that is, half of the world’s population are yet to access the internet. It is hoped that Aquila will help change that one day.
Here, are features that the Facebook Drone, is expected to have;
- The Facebook Drone flies at autonomously, but can also be manually controlled by a flight crew.
- The Facebook Drone is expected to fly at 60,000 feet and stay afloat in the air for months at a time. (ie) 90 days at a time, supplying internet access to an area 60 miles wide, using the giant craft, with a massive 113-foot wingspan, providing a broadband coverage in 60-mile radius on the ground.
- The Facebook Drone, by design, does nothing fast, it climbs slowly, and descends even slower, while it upwind moves only at 10-15 mph over the ground. The Drone is designed this way, because it is built to stay in the same area for a long interval of time, to give internet access.
- It is solar powered, and extremely power efficient, running on the power equivalent of three blow dryers, according to Facebook’s director of aeronautical platforms.
A lot of modifications has been made on the drone since it’s first test flight by Facebook. This includes the addition of new spoilers to the wings, modification of the autopilot software and the installation of a horizontal propeller stopping mechanism to facilitate a successful landing.
These improvements, made on the drone since it’s first test flight, has made a significant difference in this flight.
The Facebook Drone, is expected, to connect people through its high altitude solar-powered aircraft, eventually helping people to provide internet access to 4 billion unconnected people around the globe, most of which live in remote areas, that currently do not have access to internet without major infrastructure investment, as Facebook works on making the drone cheaper, better as well as more reliable than any other network alternative.