Google never seems to stop dropping crazy ideas on us, do they? Well, they’ve done it again, so here’s the latest innovation the tech giant recently announced: Project Skybender.
This initiative is quite similar to Google’s Project Loon, which was a project announced in June of 2013 meant to send large balloons into the atmosphere for the purpose of beaming 4G Internet from the sky. This project is still on-going, but that didn’t stop Google from also considering other opportunities, bringing us to Skybender.
Skybender is quite a unique idea, which uses solar powered drones to send down high-quality 5G Internet.
Google is currently testing prototypes out at the Gateway to Space airport in New Mexico. They built a flight control center in a nearby town to control the drones, and they are currently testing a new method of delivering high-speed Internet using millimeter-wave radio transmissions.
This new method has been rated at approximately 40 times as fast as current 4G LTE Internet, and could be the answer to jumping up a 5G level.
Google’s ultimate vision for this project, if it is deemed successful, is to have hundred to thousands of their drones flying around delivering high-speed, high-quality Internet to the world. Of course, they’re going to have to get through the FCC first, with their recent activities cracking down on even hobby drones.
The company started working on Project Skybender’s construction last summer with communication stations at Spaceport America.
The system uses drones Google created when they acquired the startup Titan Aerospace. The drones they created are high-altitude and solar-powered, which is perfect for a project like this, and some of these drones are quite large, with wingspans of up to 160 feet. Of course, being as high in the atmosphere as they are, the size isn’t much of an issue.
Google plans to continue tests until July this year, when permission from the FCC is terminated, to determine the possibility of this project being successful. Hopefully we’ll hear more about the project in the future, but it wouldn’t surprise anyone if the project is never heard of again, as with many of Google’s projects.