Facebook's Internet Drone: How It Works

Mark Zuckerberg revealed Facebook is ready to test its solar powered drone.

ByALYSSA NEWCOMB
July 31, 2015, 10:00 AM
PHOTO: Facebook's Internet drone, Aquila, will fly above conventional air traffic for up to three months and provide internet connectivity to the most remote place on earth.
Facebook's Internet drone, Aquila, will fly above conventional air traffic for up to three months and provide internet connectivity to the most remote place on earth.
Mark Zucerkberg/Facebook

— -- Facebook is ready to take to the sky.

Mark Zuckerberg revealed the social network has completed production on Aquila, its first solar-powered drone that could one day help beam the Internet into some of the world's most remote areas.

The months ahead will involve plenty of testing for the unmanned, solar powered drone.

The aircraft has the wingspan of a Boeing 737, but is lighter than a car.

Running completely on solar power, Zuckerberg said it's expected the plane could fly for months at a time. Once Aquila is airborne, it will use a new laser capable of transmitting data at 10 gigabits per second, Zuckerberg said, making it ten times faster than any previous system.

The system is so precise, according to Zuckerberg, that it can connect with a dime-sized object from more than 10 miles away.

"Using aircraft to connect communities using lasers might seem like science fiction. But science fiction is often just science before its time," Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page. "Over the coming months, we will test these systems in the real world and continue refining them so we can turn their promise into reality."

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