Facebook completes construction of its internet aircraft
Facebook has announced that it has completed the construction of its first full scale aircraft, Aquila, that can beam internet connectivity from the sky.
The unmanned aircraft, which Facebook calls Aquila, was first announced back in March. It is part of the Internet.org initiative which aims to connect people to the internet in areas without existing internet infrastructure.
Aquila is made of lightweight materials including carbon fiber, has a wingspan greater than a Boeing 737, and equipped with solar panels. It will fly above conventional air traffic for up to three months and will provide internet connectivity to remote places using lasers and radio frequency technology.
Zuckerberg says that it can can transmit data at 10 gigabits per second and can accurately connect with a point the size of a dime from more than 10 miles away. Watch the video below:
I'm excited to announce we’ve completed construction of our first full scale aircraft, Aquila, as part of our Internet.org effort. Aquila is a solar powered unmanned plane that beams down internet connectivity from the sky. It has the wingspan of a Boeing 737, but weighs less than a car and can stay in the air for months at a time. We've also made a breakthrough in laser communications technology. We've successfully tested a new laser that can transmit data at 10 gigabits per second. That's ten times faster than any previous system, and it can accurately connect with a point the size of a dime from more than 10 miles away.This effort is important because 10% of the world’s population lives in areas without existing internet infrastructure. To affordably connect everyone, we need to build completely new technologies. Using aircraft to connect communities using lasers might seem like science fiction. But science fiction is often just science before its time. Over the coming months, we will test these systems in the real world and continue refining them so we can turn their promise into reality. Here’s a video showing the building of Aquila.
Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, July 30, 2015