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

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



1. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

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

3. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Skynet is coming.

4. Clars123

Posts: 1078; Member since: Mar 16, 2015


5. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015


8. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

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

12. Sidewinder

Posts: 515; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

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

2. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

This is literally project skynet(work)...

10. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

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

6. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

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

9. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 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.

14. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Damn bruh you a savage.

11. AndroidBoy21

Posts: 72; Member since: Dec 29, 2015

Solar energy,best thing since something!

15. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Best thing since iced water lol

13. mike2959

Posts: 694; Member since: Oct 08, 2011

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

16. Baracus

Posts: 223; Member since: Sep 15, 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.

17. tokuzumi

Posts: 1870; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

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

18. Brewski

Posts: 673; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

I really liked that second picture.

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