CNET News Video
Facebook's Wi-Fi drone, Aquila, improves wireless data speedsAquila isn't flying yet. But the company is testing new radio technology called MMW that it hopes will be used to beam connections around the world using its drone.
So this is our [UNKNOWN] system, this is a flight from last year. And to me this was one of the most incredible moments in my life, where I got to see an aircraft roughly the wingspan of a Boeing 737, the mass one-third of a Toyota Prius, running on the power of three blow driers, flying in the air for an extended period of time So I'm really excited that last year we announced that we achieved over a 13 kilometer length of 20 Gigabits per second millimeter wave length. And I'm really please to announce that using that same length the team almost doubled that rate and achieved 36 Gigabits per second over that length. So we've beat our own world record. [APPLAUSE] We then flew it in a Cessna on the path to getting it into an Akila. And which used 16 Gbps per second in that system. And then I mentioned optical links that may exist between aircraft And we actually have built an optical link also in the same 13 km path, and we achieved 80 gbps. So really really excited about that progress and to put that into context, imagine streaming 4,000 ultra-high-definition videos simultaneously That's what we're able to do with the fastest system that we have available today. So, it's pretty and awesome achievement by our team. So I'm really really excited about the millimeter wave and laser technology that we're designing for AKILA and we hope ultimately that systems like AKILA existing in the stratosphere will provide backup technology to other component technology like open cellular.