Sounds like it is straight out of a science fiction novel but as Mark Zuckerberg says, science fiction is only science ahead of it’s times. And the man who brought us Facebook now plans to make the world an even smaller space but launching Aquila. Aquila is a new solar powered unmanned drone that will  transmit data at speeds as high as 10 gigabits per second through laser technology. It does sound too fantastic but Mark Zuckerberg is sure of making it happen.Also Read - China Set to Sell 48 Drones to Pakistan

Zuckerberg believes that the reason why people are not connected to the internet even today, despite easy accessibility is the cost. Data is expensive and through this drone he hopes to resolve the accessibility issues makinginternet avalaible widely. Part of the Internet.org project, Zuckerberg posted all about the new drone through Facebook (naturally!). Here’s what Aquila is all about:

“With Aquila, we’ve designed a new aircraft architecture, one that can support staying in the air for months at a time. Aquila is solar powered, and when launched, it will create a 50-km communications radius for up to 90 days, beaming a signal down to the people in that area. This signal will be received by small towers and dishes that will then convert it into a Wi-Fi or LTE network that people can connect to with their cellphones and smartphones.

The monocoque wing is made from a cured carbon fiber that is stronger than steel for the same mass of material. Before it’s cured, the material is flexible, so it can be molded into the right shape. Aquila will fly at between 60,000 and 90,000 feet during the day — above commercial air traffic and above the weather. The air at that altitude is thin, about 5 percent that of sea level, so we utilized a high aspect ratio wing and an undercambered airfoil in the design to optimize its lift-to-drag ratio. During the day, the aircraft will fly at 90,000 feet to maximize its ability to charge its solar cells. At night, it will glide down to 60,000 feet, taking advantage of gravitational potential energy to consume less power.”

The test drones are expected to be up in the air by the end of this year. Let’s take a look at some of the pictures.

Image Credit: code.facebook.com

Image Credit: code.facebook.com

Image Credit: code.facebook.com

Image Credit: code.facebook.com

Image Credit: code.facebook.com

Image Credit: code.facebook.com

Image Credit: code.facebook.com

Image Credit: code.facebook.com

Image Credit: code.facebook.com

Image Credit: code.facebook.com

Image Credit: code.facebook.com

Image Credit: code.facebook.com

Here’s what Mark Zuckerberg had to say about the project.

I’m excited to announce we’ve completed construction of our first full scale aircraft, Aquila, as part of our…

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, 30 July 2015