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Solar Internet Drones

The Facebook Drone 'Aquila' Will Bring the Web to Remote Parts of the World

— August 3, 2015 — Tech
The Facebook drone 'Aquila' is an impressive solar-powered UAV that's set to fly above air traffic routes and provide Internet access to some of the most remote parts of the world for up to three months at a time.

There's lots to be impressed with by this project launched between Facebook and Internet.org. The gigantic Aquila drone itself has a wingspan greater than a commercial Boeing 737 aircraft, but weighs less than a car. What will help to deliver web access is a laser and radio frequency technology capable of transmitting 10 gigabits of data per second—this is 10 times faster than laser communication systems that have come before it.

Targeting areas where Internet is not available because cost or a lack of infrastructure inhibits it, the Aquila will be able to connect with points the size of a coin from distances greater than 10 miles in the distance.
Trend Themes
1. Solar-powered Drones - Large tech companies are investing in solar-powered drones to provide Internet access to remote regions, creating opportunities for renewable energy and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) industries to develop more efficient, high-capacity solar panels and batteries.
2. High-speed Transmission Technology - The development of high-speed laser and radio frequency transmission technology for Internet drones can disrupt the communication and telecommunications industries, presenting opportunities for further research and development in these markets.
3. Internet Access in Remote Areas - The implementation of Internet drones can disrupt the telecommunications sector to the benefit of the world’s lawmakers and regulators who have long been tasked with ensuring broadband services reach and operate in lower-population areas and remote regions.
Industry Implications
1. Renewable Energy - The project has the potential to revolutionize renewable energy in the aviation sector, providing huge opportunities for solar technology and electrical engineers to delve more into renewable energy research.
2. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (uavs) - Facebook’s Aquila shows the potential to make UAVs more practical, reliable, and capable of extended deployment in gathering data, surveying terrain, and carrying out delivery, showcasing opportunities for further development of the industry in civilian and non-civilian applications.
3. Communication and Telecommunications - The Facebook drone and other internet access drones present an attractive business model for achieving communication and telecommunications capabilities with far-reaching applications, including emergency communications and large event connectivity, leading to new opportunities in this sector.
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