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Facebook Announces Its Internet-Broadcasting Drone

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Morenike Adebayo

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clockAug 1 2015, 01:02 UTC
1450 Facebook Announces Its Internet-Broadcasting Drone
Part of Facebook's internet.org project, here's the Aquila internet-broadcasting aircraft, ready to be deployed. Facebook.

If you’re not already constantly glued to social media, Facebook wants to make sure you’re updating your status wherever you are.

The social media giant plans to deliver wireless Internet from the skies using Aquila, a full-scale aircraft capable of beaming wireless Internet using lasers.

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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the completion of Aquila via a Facebook post, of course.

Aquila is named after the northern sky constellation and the bird that carried Zeus’s thunderbolts to battle in Greco-Roman mythology.

The solar-powered aircraft weighs “less than a car” and has the same wingspan as a Boeing 737.

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Aquila forms part of the Facebook project Internet.org, aimed at providing affordable Internet access to more communities around the world. "This effort is important because 10% of the world’s population lives in areas without existing internet infrastructure," wrote Zuckerberg.

The broadcasting stats for Aquila are astonishingly accurate for such a craft. To “a point the size of a dime,” Aquila is capable of sending data at 10 gigabits per second from a distance of over 10 miles.

Engineers in the promo video below believe the drone will fly above the Earth at between 18.3 and 27.4 kilometers (60,000 and 90,000 feet) for 3-month periods before descending back down to Earth.

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[H/T: Popular Science]


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