Friday, 28 March 2014

Facebook Drones and Satellites to Beam Internet



Facebook Will Build Drones and Satellites to Beam Internet Around the World

Mark Zuckerberg is making a research lab where a team of Facebook engineers can build flying drones, satellites, and infrared lasers capable of beaming internet connections to people down here on earth.

Revealed this afternoon by the Facebook chief operating officer and founder, it’s called the Facebook connectivity research lab. according to Zuckerberg, the lab’s engineering employees already spans “many of the world’s leading specialists in region and communications technology,” as well as researchers from NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory, NASA’s Ames centre, and therefore the National Optical natural philosophy Observatory. and therefore the company is currently adding engineers from a British company referred to as Ascenta, an outfit that helped produce the world’s longest solar-powered pilotless craft.

All this could appear to be a stretch for a social networking company. however it’s a necessary a part of Zuckerberg’s efforts to bring internet to the huge parts of the world that also don’t have it — an effort called web.org that produces an awful lot of sense for a company whose continued growth depends on the continued growth of internet. And though the overall public might not comprehend it, Facebook features a long history with building new hardware that can advance its cause. the company declined to discuss the laboratory, however it confirms that the laboratory are run by Yael Maguire, the former university Media laboratory researcher who played an enormous role within the Open cypher Project, Facebook’s effort to make a a lot of economical breed of laptop servers and information centers for driving its net and mobile services.

Hinted at in earlier press reports, Facebook’s flying-internet efforts mirror an identical project that’s current at Google. called Project Loon, it seeks to produce web access to the hinterlands through high-altitude balloons. Like Facebook, Google stands to profit in massive ways in which if internet expands. the first services designed by these 2 net giants area unit currently employed by huge swaths of the web population, and eventually, the businesses should push into a wholly new audience. As public firms, they’re beneath huge pressure to continue the expansion of their businesses — in permanency. additionally to Loon, Google is trying to expand the reach of high-speed web landlines through a service referred to as Google Fiber.

According to post on the web site by web.org — a pool that conjointly includes such technical school outfits as Samsung, Ericsson, Nokia, and Qualcomm — the new Facebook laboratory is exploring the chance of victimization solar-powered high-altitude planes to produce web access in residential district areas. These might “stay aloft for months, be quickly deployed and deliver reliable web connections,” the positioning says. Then, for a lot of remote areas, the laboratory is trying towards low-orbiting satellites. In each cases, it aims to beam web access to the folks victimization what’s referred to as free-space optical communication, or FSO. Basically, this can be the simplest way of sending information through infrared lasers.

Facebook’s announcement comes 2 days once the corporate noninheritable a startup referred to as eye, locution it'd use the startup’s diversion receiver as the simplest way of moving its social network into the globe of video game. Compared to it, the property laboratory may be a rather easy business move. On Tuesday, whereas discussing the eye purchase, Zuckerberg painted each comes as platforms that represent not the close to way forward for Facebook, however the distant future.

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