Solar-powered drone Alphabet and SoftBank began to distribute Internet on the LTE network (4 photos + video)

The expansion of the mobile coverage area isseveral directions. The provision of communications for remote areas and places where man-made or natural disasters have occurred can be assigned to flying stations, which are distinguished by mobility and a high degree of autonomy. The development of the concept of flying mobile stations has been going on for several years, but only now the first real results have been obtained - a video conference was held between Japan and America, using a station located on an unmanned aerial vehicle.

In the development of flying mobile stations,participation of Google Alphabet corporation and Japanese technology giant SoftBank. In a joint press release, the companies announced the establishment of a stable LTE connection via a solar powered aircraft flying at an altitude of about 19 km. The quality of the connection allowed for a video conference between the United States and Japan, in which the "father of the Internet" Vinton Cerf took part.

The Sunglider drone on which it is installedmobile station can be in autonomous flight for several months. Energy is provided by solar panels mounted on a 78m mono-wing. The drone is driven by ten screw electric motors. Sunglider is capable of speeds up to 110 km / h. The flight altitude of the flying mobile communication station is higher than that of commercial flights. The control system will allow the drone to independently adapt to changes in wind direction.

In the development of a unique drone,Loon from Alphabet Holding and HAPSMobile from SoftBank. Loon is known for its hot-air balloon cell towers, and HAPSMobile has created the Hawk30 solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle.

During the videoconference, upon requestdevelopers, the wind speed reached 30 m / s, and the temperature dropped to minus 73 degrees Celsius. However, such extreme conditions did not prevent the LTE communication session, during which the participants used standard smartphones. At the same time, the video was broadcast in high definition and with low latency. No specific technical parameters are provided.
The use of flying mobile stations will provide hard-to-reach areas and places of disasters with reliable communications and high-speed Internet, according to developers from HAPSMobile.

Source: theverge