Portuguese firm aims to take internet to offline areas

Published on April 14, 2015 14:11:11 PM
A Portuguese firm, aiming to provide wireless internet access to offline areas of the world with the help of solar-powered drones, claims to have successfully completed its maiden test flight.

"We are planning to use the SkyOrbiter drones that stay airborne for a longer period and fly at altitudes of up 22,000 meters,” the firm, Quarkson said.

The drone has Wi-Fi transmission equipment, which provide internet access to local users with the help of antennas to receive signals.

This was initially tested on April 2 with a small version of those planned for eventual use with a wing span of 5 meters. At an altitude of 100 metres, the Wi-Fi signal was relayed and successfully reached the ground.

The firm has already built SkyOrbiter LA25 drones with a wingspan of 22 metres, which is ready for testing.

The drones are fully autonomous with autopilot, power management system, ground control software and long range communications that work with distinct frequencies.

The transmission is done through LTE or Wi-Fi on the unlicensed spectrum or by 3G or 2G carrier on the licensed spectrum, Quarkson said.