Solar drones

Most people in the developed world can access the Internet now via mobile or desktop computers, according to the latest 2016 statistics. In the UK it’s 92.6% of people with access, but what about other less developed countries in the world, such as Zambia which has just 19% of it’s population with internet access? The answer (apparently) is Internet Drones.

Facebook have always been advocates of enabling people in developing countries to have access to the Internet for free with the use of Free Basics and similar initiatives, but the latest one to reach headlines really pushes the boundaries of innovation and global information sharing, which is the ability for Internet signal to be beamed down from drones travelling at 60,000 – 90,000 feet.

The project, named ‘Aquila’, is a solar powered, unmanned aircraft with the wingspan of a Boeing 737 (around 35 meteres). In order to reach it’s most effective stage, the drone is due to reach a flight time of 2 to 3 months, which is astonishing amounts of time considering the current record for the longest solar powered flight time is 2 weeks.

How does all this affect us?

Well for one, more people having Internet access is great news for everybody concerned for the simple reason of sharing information. The sharing of information ultimately brings people together (although I suppose that’s a matter of opinion) and surely will help towards solving social and economic issues? There’s also the added benefit of education, with more school and house holds being able to access the vast digital library that is the Internet.

Secondly, it will help towards the growing number of excellent websites out there! The Internet has recently become a canvas for people wanting to express their digital (and non-digital) creativity. Things like creating highly interactive websites and journals has benefits for everybody.