Saturday, March 28, 2015

Facebook to work with Ascenta for unmanned solar connectivity aircraft, says Mark Zuckerberg

We are all familiar with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitious dream to connect the whole world with Internet.org.
The social network has already begun working on ways to beam Internet to people from the sky. Now, Zuckerberg has shared some details of Facebook’s Connectivity Lab that is working at building drones, satellites and lasers to deliver the internet to everyone.
“We’ve made good progress so far. Over the past year, our work in the Philippines and Paraguay alone has doubled the number of people using mobile data with the operators we’ve partnered with, helping 3 million new people access the internet,” he wrote in a post on Facebook.
He emphasised on how there will be need for new technology in order to help connect the world and that’s what the company is planning to work at with the new Connectivity Lab. While the Facebook team is already working with experts in aerospace and communications technology (including from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and Ames Research Center), the company has now added a new team, Ascenta, that has helped build unmanned connectivity aircrafts for Facebook.
Ascenta is a small UK-based company whose founders have built the early versions of Zephyr that is the world’s longest flying solar-powered unmanned aircraft.
Facebook will be working with Internet.org partners and operators across the world to deploy these technologies.
Recently, Facebook announced Internet.org in India and Google is also all set to bring its internet project that uses high-altitude balloons to offer connectivity to remote areas here.

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