Facebook Drones and Lasers
Facebook released Thursday that it’s working to troubleshoot the technical and financial hurdles to bringing the Internet to the rest of the world with a team that it’s calling Facebook Connectivity Lab.
The lab, which is closely aligned with Facebook’s Internet.org initiative, is building “drones, satellites, and lasers to deliver the internet to everyone,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post published to his social-network Timeline.
The Connectivity Lab team, tasked with creating new technology to offer inexpensive Internet access for all, is an existing one that Facebook is just now deciding to talk publicly about. The reveal coincides with the social network’s decision to bring aboard five aerospace experts from the UK company Ascenta.
“Our team has many of the world’s leading experts in aerospace and communications technology, including from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and Ames Research Center,” Zuckerberg said. “Today we are also bringing on major members of the team from Ascenta, a small UK-based company whose founders created early versions of Zephyr, which became the world’s longest flying solar-powered unmanned aircraft. They will be a part of our team working on connectivity aircraft.”
Specifically, the Connectivity Lab team is working on a project called free-space optical communication (FSO), which utilizes light to transfer data through space with infrared laser beams. In some suburban areas, Facebook will use long-endurance aircraft to port dependable Internet connections, and in lower density areas the company is testing low-Earth orbit satellites to beam Internet access to the ground.
It all sounds extremely futuristic, but given Zuckerberg’s recent maneuvers, particularly the $2 billion buy of virtual reality company Oculus VR, one shouldn’t be surprised that the Facebook chief is turning to far-out science to make fact out of fiction.
Read More From This Source: CNET