Facebook’s Efforts To Deliver Internet From The Sky
Facebook is undertaking the first airborne tests for its new wireless technology using Aquila, a Boeing-737-sized, solar powered and long range drone that was designed for the delivery of internet access. Engineers of Facebook expect that the new wireless system will eventually transport enormous amounts of data from ground stations to the drones in the stratosphere. Small cities and rural communities that use traditional communication systems will greatly benefit from the signals that the drones will beam down to ground stations.
Facebook will have to go a long way before it reaches its goal of providing internet access to new areas without the need to dig holes on the ground, install towers and use expensive wire lines. The plane that was seen circling around the San Fernando Valley is not the actual drone but a stand-in.
The technology used by Facebook is called millimetre waves that are smaller than radio waves used to transmit mobile phone and Wi-Fi signals. Facebook can use the portion of air waves to send much larger about of data. This is not the first time the millimetre wave systems have been used to send data between two distant points like ground stations and satellites but the setup has always been bulky and power-hungry. What Facebook is pushing is lightweight and energy efficient that used to be contemplated only in scientific journals or secret government laboratories.
There are lots of theories about millimetre waves and not a lot of people are using it except for Facebook that believes the technology will actually work. Facebook’s team of engineers have already proven that millimetre waves has the capability to trade data between two fixed points which are 8 miles away from each other at a rate of 20 Gigabits per second. This is about 400 times the speed of a home’s internet connection with less power consumed.
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