Facebook and Airbus working on solar-powered drones connectivity project


Facebook and Airbus plan to check solar-powered drones to attach distant areas to the web

The social media large, Facebook and plane producer, Airbus have collaborated to work on a new drone connectivity project in Australia to beam web entry to distant areas, reports Germany’s Netzpolitik.

For these unaware, Facebook had halted its personal solar-powered web drone project, Aquila final June after years of improvement. Back then, the corporate had mentioned that it will now not construct the drones. However, it added that it was nonetheless dedicated to the unique objective of bringing extra individuals on-line and for that it will as a substitute rely on different corporations to construct plane.

According to the paperwork obtained by Netzpolitik underneath the Australian Freedom of Information Act, present that each the businesses plan to check the solar-powered drones in Australian territory. It is learnt that Airbus met with the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) between March and September final 12 months not less than 18 instances to acquire approval for the assessments. The firm was lastly given a drone operator certificate on September 19, 2018.

The paperwork counsel that it was deliberate to make flights with these drones in November and December 2018, and the assessments had been scheduled to happen in Wyndham airfield in Western Australia. Further, the payload for the drone was to be supplied by Facebook. However, it’s unclear if any flights have taken place but. According to the minutes, delays in earlier assessments had prevented the assessments.

The trials reportedly concerned the usage of Airbus’ Zephyr drone, a mannequin that’s designed for “defense, humanitarian and environmental missions.” Zephyr drone was developed by Airbus with the purpose to supply web to the Earth’s floor from about 30 kilometers excessive (stratosphere).

“We continue to work with partners on High Altitude Platform System (HAPS) connectivity. We don’t have further details to share at this time,” a Facebook spokesperson advised NetzPolitik.

Both Facebook and Airbus have declined to supply any additional particulars. However, it’s clear that Facebook by way of its tasks is aiming to extend web entry worldwide, notably in creating areas reminiscent of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and additionally in distant areas. It can also be attempting to make web service out there at way more reasonably priced costs by utilizing software program and present infrastructure.


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