Facebook say they are into the final phase of testing Aquila, a solar-powered suspended data server that is meant to provide free internet access to remote parts of the world.
Spanning a wing as large as that of a Boeing 737 aircraft, yet weighing less than a car and reaching an altitude as high as 90,000 feet, Aquila can suspend in the skies for 3 months doing what it knows how to do best: shinning internet to users below.
Facebook explained that the project has been been built and finished in the UK, and is now undergoing tests in an undisclosed location in the United States.
Said Facebook VP of engineering and infrastructure, Jay Parikh: “A full-scale version of Aquila — the high-altitude, long-endurance aircraft designed by our aerospace team in the UK — is now complete and ready for flight testing.”
Explaining why his company has embarked on the costly venture, CEO Mark Zuckerberg cited that 10 percent of the world’s population lives without Internet access.
“To affordably connect everyone, we need to build completely new technologies,” Zuckerberg said.
“Using aircraft to connect communities using lasers might seem like science fiction, but science fiction is often just science before its time.
“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,” the Facebook founder added.