During the F8 Developers Conference on March 26, Facebook introduced its solar-powered drone. The project is aimed to provide internet access to parts of the world where there is none.
The drone was built by Ascenta, a solar-powered drone company Facebook bought for $20 million last year. The drone is gigantic, it has a wingspan larger than a Boeing 737, but it is no heavier than a small car. It is capable of flying as high as 18 to 27 kilometers and its solar panels provide enough energy for the drone to stay airborne for months. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that the drone completed its first test flight successfully in the UK.
Much like Google's internet balloons for Project Loon, Facebook's internet drone aims to provide internet to rural areas of the world without bothering with the costly and inefficient constructions on the ground. Facebook predicts that, in the future, projects like these will be able to provide internet for the ten percent of the population.
The project is developed as part of Facebook's non-profit organization named Internet.org.