When we get lost, we check maps on our smartphone. When we want to know about the place while traveling, we check it on the internet. When we take photos, we want to share it. Where? Most likely on Facebook. And Facebook is the one who plans to extend the internet to communities worldwide.
Only a third of the globe can currently access the web and Facebook sees an opportunity here. Facebook with its CEO Mark Zuckerberg is now developing solar power drones which can fly 12 miles high and are capable of boosting worldwide internet access. The social network’s founder is hoping that his project Internet.org will provide internet access to the other two-thirds.
The company has been discussing using drones, or planes as they prefer to call them. They want them to circle constantly in the sky. Planes would be about the size of a commercial aircraft. Those planes have to fly above all airspace, that is between 60,000 and 90, 000 feet where no plane flies. The planes also have to be solar powered so they can fly continuously without refueling.
There are some regulatory issues and problems connected to this project. There is normally one person to manage a single drone. “We can’t have one person per plane if we want to figure out how to connect the world.” says Yael Maguire, an engineering director at Facebook’s Connectivity Lab. The second issue is that the airspace above 60,000 feet is not currently regulated at all. The team aims to send at least one drone for a test flight, hopefully in 2015 in U.S. airspace.
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Silvia M.//SMC Editor
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Credit and pictures : mirror.co.uk, abcnews.go.com, inhabitat.com, googleimages