Facebook is planning to create autonomous drones that are roughly the size of jumbo jets, which will fly 17 miles above the earth. The purpose is to provide wireless Internet to approximately four billion people who are unable to get online.
As of now, only 2.7 billion people have access to the Internet. This makes up around one-third of the world’s population. They want to push the edge in solar technology, battery technology and composite technology. The drones will fly months, even years between 60,000 to 90,000 feet which is 17 miles above ground.
This could help solve weather-related problems, however it could lead to the emergence of new legislative ones. Commercial airlines fly only half of the altitude drones will be flying at.
By next year, these drones would be tested in the US, hoping to push operations to developing countries in the next three to five years. Twenty-one locations around the world have already been chosen to deploy these drones across Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Google is currently working on similar technology and acquired Titan Aerospace, a drone manufacturer. They create solar-powered drones that can fly for several years. It would help solve a lot of problems including disaster relief and environmental damage.