facebook to connect the world using wireless internet via solar-powered drones
all images courtesy titan aerospace
according to techcrunch, facebook is reportedly in talks to acquire and take over american-based aerospace company titan aerospace, a deal that is believed to be worth as much as $60 million. if the negotiation follows through, the solar-powered drones – which essentially function like cheap satellites – will fly as high as 65,000 feet and stay aloft for as long as five years, providing web service to parts of the world without internet access. unlike google’s project loon balloons, the drones can also be used for weather monitoring, disaster recovery, earth imaging and other communications, helping facebook achieve its goal of providing internet access around the world.
the solara 50 and 60 atmospheric satelite models can be launched at night using power from internal battery packs, then when the sun rises, they can store enough energy to ascend to 20km above sea level where they can remain for five years without needing to land or refuel. the drones would blanket large areas with wireless internet signals, providing basic access to the internet through mobile devices.