Meet Aquila: Facebook’s UAV and Newest Gadget

Facebook’s Internet Providing UAV

 

Meet Aquila

If you haven’t heard of her, you probably should have. She is the first major milestone on the road to giving every individual access to the web, no matter where they are in the world.

Believe it or not, she is the work Social Media giant Facebook, who has undertaken the rather ambitious effort to deliver internet access to over 4 billion individuals through their internet.org program. Currently, over forty percent of the world’s population does not have access to the web, primarily due to the difficulties of installing crucial infrastructure in underdeveloped areas.

And that’s where Aquila comes in. Aquila is a high-altitude, solar powered UAV that will serve as a network for WiFi connectivity. When launched, Aquila will be able to give individuals within a 50-km radius Wi-Fi or LTE network access.

And it has Lasers

Meanwhile, the Lab has been hard at work developing a next generation laser. While that may sound like something a Bond Villain would be up to (looking at you, Elon Musk), but is actually paving the way for faster data delivery than ever possible before. The team has been able to clock in transfer speeds of 10s of Gb’s per second, 10x faster than the previous state-of-the-art in the industry. Pretty cool, right?

Aquila is something of an engineering marvel. A UAV with a wingspan of a Boeing 737, yet weighing hundreds of times less thanks to the unique design and carbon-fiber frame. When deployed, Aquila will be able to stay in a region months at a time, beaming connectivity down to people from an altitude of 60,000 to 90,000 feet. 

“Our goal is to accelerate the development of a new set of technologies that can drastically change the economics of deploying internet infrastructure,’ Facebook vice president of global engineering and infrastructure Jay Parikh said in a blog post.

According to Parikh, a full-scale version of Aquila is “now complete and ready for flight testing.”

So, internet-providing UAV’s from Facebook. Let us know your opinions in the comments below. Be sure to check out our Facebook and reach out to us on Twitter @FibreGlast for more news in the world of composites.

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