Social networking giant Facebook’s Internet drone named ‘Aquila’ has passed first full-scale test. This was the first time using the full-scale drone.
The flight test was undertaken in Yuma, Arizona (US) and was only meant to last for 30 minutes. But the test went so well that the plane was kept flying for up for 96 minutes.
- Aquila is solar solar-powered internet drone being designed to beam the Internet service to remote areas of the world. It is developed by Facebook’s Connectivity Lab.
- It is made of a carbon fiber composite body and weighs less than 1,000 pounds.
- Its communications payload uses lasers to transfer data. The lasers will be able to aim its internet beams accurately enough to hit target (base station) while it is in motion.
- The drone is in some ways is self-piloting but relies on a ground crew who direct, maintain, and monitor the aircraft.
- The ground crew controls the drone through software that allows them to determine altitude, heading and air speed, or even send a GPS-based route.
- The solar-powered drone has been designed in such a way that it will be able to fly without landing for three months at a time.
- It will operate between 18km and 27km above the altitude of commercial airplanes in the Stratosphere so it would not be affected by weather.