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Google testing solar-powered drones to deliver wireless internet from the sky

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Google testing solar-powered drones to deliver wireless internet from the sky
According to a report published today, Google is secretly testing a way to use solar-powered drones to provide high-speed internet service to the public on the ground. The test is part of what has been dubbed Project SkyBender, and is allegedly taking part at Spaceport America in New Mexico. Radios on the ground at the Spaceport receive signals from multiple drones.

The tests are using millimeter-wave radio that is a technology being explored for use in 5G wireless systems. With theoretical data speeds 40 times faster than today's 4G LTE signals, users will be able to download a feature film in just seconds. But there is a downside. Millimeter-wave signals travel one-tenth of the distance that 4G LTE signals do. To make up for this shortcoming, University of Washington professor Jacques Rudell says that Google would have to use phased arrays to allow high-flying drones to send millimeter-wave signals down to earth.

Project SkyBender is being developed by the same Google Access team that is working on a way to deliver wireless internet using balloons floating through the stratosphere. The solar-powered drones are made by Google Titan, and the SkyBender project is being tested with a optionally piloted plane called Centaur.

The project is similar to one worked on by the U.S. Military's Darpa research arm. The project, called Mobile Hotspots, was tested back in 2014 and used drones to deliver a wireless internet signal traveling at 1Gb per second. The project was being developed for troops stationed overseas that need a stable and secure internet signal for communications.


source: TheGuardian

18 Comments
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posted on 30 Jan 2016, 16:35 4

1. Finalflash (Posts: 2716; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Always trying crazy things those Googlers. If even one of these works out it will move the industry forward leaps hopefully.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 17:09 20

3. techperson211 (Posts: 1162; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)


Skynet is coming.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 18:05 2

4. Clars123 (Posts: 552; Member since: 16 Mar 2015)


+1000..LOL

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 19:15

5. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 1930; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Bulls**t.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 22:39 1

8. jroc74 (Posts: 5980; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


I am watching all the Terminator movies right now to be ready....

posted on 31 Jan 2016, 05:27 1

12. Sidewinder (Posts: 392; Member since: 15 Jan 2015)


Ha ha don't worry everyone except John Connor will be fired.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 17:08 3

2. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 1861; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)


This is literally project skynet(work)...

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 23:13

10. Scott93274 (Posts: 3698; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


lol, yeah, I never gave it much thought, but you're right.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 19:38 9

6. ibend (Posts: 3147; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


while apple busy protecting their investor money, Google busy developing lots of cool stuff

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 22:41 1

9. jroc74 (Posts: 5980; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


And not just cool stuff, but free or low cost cool stuff.

I hope Google never, ever, ever, ever becomes like Apple. The day that happens is the day I probably start living off the grid. Just drop all tech and live like its 1980.

posted on 31 Jan 2016, 14:49

14. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 1930; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Damn bruh you a savage.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 21:16

7. DmitrLP (Posts: 182; Member since: 18 Sep 2015)


As long as that sh** is free

posted on 31 Jan 2016, 03:45

11. AndroidBoy21 (Posts: 27; Member since: 29 Dec 2015)


Solar energy,best thing since something!

posted on 31 Jan 2016, 14:50

15. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 1930; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Best thing since iced water lol

posted on 31 Jan 2016, 11:22

13. mike2959 (Posts: 506; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)


What's free at Google? Lol. Do you know how to read a company balance sheet? Income statement?

posted on 31 Jan 2016, 15:06

16. Baracus (Posts: 223; Member since: 15 Sep 2012)


Wouldn't be surprised if the U.S government decided to weaponise these drones so they don't even have to leave their seat to kill minorities.

posted on 01 Feb 2016, 08:49

17. tokuzumi (Posts: 877; Member since: 27 Aug 2009)


This sounds like WiMAX 2.0. It will end up being scrapped after the next standard is officially adopted by everyone else.

posted on 01 Feb 2016, 13:46

18. Brewski (Posts: 307; Member since: 05 Jun 2012)


I really liked that second picture.

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