Facebook’s aerospace team in the UK has completed the development of Aquila, a high-altitude, long-endurance drone to provide internet access to remote parts of the world.
The company is strengthening its Internet.org effort, which aims to connect those living in remote parts of the world through Drones, satellites and terrestrial solutions.
It is claimed that 10% of the world’s population live in areas where fibre-optic cable, microwave repeaters and cell towers cannot be deployed, with Aquila targeting those areas.
It has wingspan of a Boeing 737, but will weigh hundreds of times less, which was achieved due to its unique design and carbon-fiber frame.
Facebook said that the drone would be capable of circle a remote region for up to 90 days and provide internet connectivity to those living in remote regions from an altitude of 60,000 to 90,000 feet.
The company also said that its Californian team in Woodland Hills has designed a laser that can deliver data at 10s of Gb per second from more than 10 miles away, and it can be used to connect our aircraft with each other creating a highly stratospheric network that can provide internet to millions.
Facebook Global Engineering and Infrastructure vice president Jay Parikh said: "We still have a long way to go in this work, but we are excited by our early progress.
"And much like we’ve done with the Open Compute Project, we plan to engage with the broader community and share what we’ve learned, so we can all move faster in the development of these technologies."