Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Left Masthead
February 11, 2016
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Welcome to the United States of Flint
Chilling Warning on Warming’s Future Legacy

Dog Whistle Politics

Truthdig Bazaar
States of Emergency: The Object of American Studies

States of Emergency: The Object of American Studies

By Russ Castronovo (Editor), Susan Gillman (Editor)

more items

Ear to the Ground
Print this item

Facebook Solar Drones Aim to Transmit Internet to Just About Everywhere

Posted on Apr 1, 2014
AP Images. Titan Aerospace: Solara 50 aircraft

Facebook has bought a design company called Somerset in order to create a solar-powered drone program that will work in synchronicity with “geosynchronous satellites” designed to hover above us at 65,000 feet.

In an effort to bring Internet service to the two-thirds of the world without online access, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is planning on using his drone program to expand, a venture created with the stated goal of making the Internet a globally available information resource. (This will also allow Facebook to significantly expand its user base, currently at 1.3 billion.)

Zuckerberg’s drone-powered scheme will also be in direct competition with Google’s Internet balloon program—called Project Loon, no less—which serves the same purpose. According to the BBC, Google released 30 balloons in New Zealand in June.

Meanwhile, engineer Yael Maguire weighed in on The Guardian about how Facebook’s drone program works:

“In suburban environments we are looking at a new type of plane architecture that flies at 20,000 metres, at the point where the winds are the lowest. It’s above commercial airlines, it’s even above the weather. They circle around and broadcast internet down but significantly closer than a satellite.”

Invisible infrared laser beams, which can carry large amounts of information at high speeds across space using free-space optical communication technology (FSO), will connect the satellites to each other and to receivers on the surface of the Earth.

Comcast and cellphone providers such as AT&T might also join this space race, but at this point it looks as if the two online giants will battle it out with the help of their corporate-backed flying objects.

—Posted by Donald Kaufman.

More Below the Ad


Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network

Like Truthdig on Facebook