Facebook isn’t alone in this quest: Google is doing something similar with balloons called Project Loon. And that makes us wonder: How will the two tech titans avoid mid-air collisions? We’ll let them sort that out, but for now it’s really interesting to see these connectivity projects taking shape.
Today is a pretty big day for Mark Zuckerberg and the folks at Facebook. At daybreak this morning in Yuma, Arizona, Facebook launched the Aquila, an unmanned, solar-powered aircraft with a wingspan bigger than a Boeing 737, intended to bring internet access to under-served areas.
This was just a test run, and the internet delivery system is still in development, but apparently the flight – which was only supposed to go for about half an hour – went so well, the team let the aircraft fly for over an hour and a half.
Ultimately, Facebook intends to send drones like the Aquila soaring up to elevations exceeding 60,000 feet to beam internet access via lasers and millimeter wave technology down to remote areas which don’t have the infrastructure to build out internet pathways.