Facebook Aquila Drone Project is Dead
Even the big names experience setbacks in a big scale, Facebook included.
The blue F company on Wednesday in a blog states that it will be shutting down it’s drone internet project -Aquila which is running at Bridgewater in England.
The company started the project back in 2014 with the idea of bringing internet to close to 4 billion people. The Aquila drone is designed to fly across an area which has no access to internet, sustained by solar energy the drone will go 60,00 feet above the ground.
Aquila (Eagle in Latin) is a project of an unmanned drone flying across an a designated area to provide internet to remote in such places.
Facebook revealed that it will abandon efforts to build it’s own aircrafts, but will focus on
partnering with companies such as Airbus to work on High Altitude Platform Station and to advance spectrum and aviation policy
“As we’ve worked on these efforts, it’s been exciting to see leading companies in the aerospace industry start investing in this technology too —
including the design and construction of new high-altitude aircraft. “Given these developments,
we’ve decided not to design or build our own aircraft any longer, and to close our facility in Bridgwater.”
-Yael Maguire (Director of Engineering) wrote.
As it is with every startup facebook had major issues running the project. First was a landing crash in June 2016 which was caused by structural failure but was considered a success by Facebook.
Aquila was not a total failure it completed a successful ride in the following year and set new significant records.
“We’ve made important progress on some of the other key parts of the system — including setting new records using millimeter-wave (MMW)
technology in air-to-ground and point-to-point communication. And then we more than doubled our MMW record with 40 Gbps connectivity simultaneously in both directions from a ground location to a circling Cessna aircraft over 7 kilometers away. We’ve also pushed for improvements to spectrum and aviation policy —
including more consistency in the global regulatory environment to open up HAPS to new entrants.” – Maguire
Facebook can excuse themselves by spectrum limitations and geographical factors that hamper aero technologies
“This has involved a lot of trial and error,” Maguire wrote. “When we started the Aquila program back in 2014, very few companies were involved in this area — and they were all working independently of each other.
In addition, the only spectrum available for these platforms wasn’t suitable for broadband due to technical and geographical limitations.”
“Facebook has already connected nearly 100 million people as a result of our efforts. And we are continuing to invest in developing next-generation technologies like Terragraph, working with partners on new infrastructure builds like our fiber project in Uganda, and supporting entrepreneurs in programs like Express Wi-Fi — all to help connect the 4 billion people who still do not have access to the Internet. “
What's your reaction?