Google Drones :
With the idea of offering internet access to areas with no or poorly served and no connectivity, and creating new growth drivers, the Mountain View firm acquired Skybox (a manufacturer of microsatellites) and the company Titan Aerospace (a manufacturer of pre-orbital devices) to offer global Internet access.
Solar-powered drones of Titan Aerospace
Titan Aerospace’s engines are, in fact, drones or more precisely atmospheric satellites operating with photovoltaic energy, with large solar panels placed on their wings, and will fly at very high altitude (20000 meters above our Heads) like Google balloons, but much longer if the balloons flying over 100 days before being changed, the drones for their part will fly over several years. These engines can perform the same tasks as a conventional satellite (surveillance, mapping, communications, etc.) and their price would be low (less than $ 2 million) compared to a satellite (over $ 100 million).
According to Titan, operational costs are almost nil, said last year to Fortune magazine Dustin Sanders, chief engineer of the company.
It takes only one person to make sure that the drone is working properly.
For Google, these drones can both provide Internet access and take pictures of the Earth in high definition. This could allow the company to update its maps faster and enrich its services, Google Maps, Google Earth.
These atmospheric satellites can also be useful for providing real-time informations and solving problems such as helping to victims during natural disasters or helping to combat deforestation.
Facebook drones « Aquila »:
Mark’s philosophy is that all countries and people around the world connect to each other through the Internet.
In 2014 Facebook launched its new project called “Connectivity Lab” which is linked to that of Internet.org, and occasionally, the social network has recruited former NASA experts and acquired the company Ascenta specializing in the manufacture of solar drones. These aircrafts will fly between 18,000 and 27,000 meters above the ground, and will offer in a few years broadband Internet access, mainly to unserved suburban and rural areas in Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Aquila prototype of Facebook drone
Aquila, the new prototype drone that the lab “connectivity lab” has just developed is as wide as an airliner for a weight of 450 kg, this drone can serve in connection a ground area of about 50 kilometers in diameter.
Transmission of tens of gigabytes of data per second will be performed using laser beams between flight drones and ground relay stations for the network mesh.
This system is very accurate. “Capable of aiming in full flight a coin of a diameter of 2 cm, at 18 kilometers distance,” indicate the engineers of Facebook.
In particular, using infrared laser has the goal of reaching the most remote places of the earth and bringing them access to the web and quickly bring connectivity to a region that needs it.