Old Drones Will Be Turned Into Flying Wi-Fi Hotspots by DARPA
Armies these days need fast internet connection just as us but not for Instagram and Facebook updates but actually for some really serious uses. DARPA has come up with a new technique to ensure Wi-Fi availability or to bring internet access even during the battle to reinforce the forces engaged.
This latest plan makes use of the RQ-7 Shadow drones which were used during the war in Iraq. The RQ-7 weighs about 185 pounds and has a length of 11 ft. For the required task, though, it is more than what is required. The key task over here is to bring Wi-Fi hotspot in a particular area and make sure that the signal is being broadcasted without any interruption and to ensure that a secure connection from ground level can be made without the need for any huge antenna.
All this has been achieved by making the drone work in the ultra-high millimeter waveband while incorporating unique low-noise amplifiers to help boost the signal. The Shadow is capable of staying in the air for around 9 hours at a time after which it can be easily replaced with another Shadow.
This whole project is part of the Pentagon’s Flying Hotspots Program whose objective is to deliver ‘a scalable, mobile millimeter-wave communications backhaul network mounted on small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and providing a 1 GB/s capacity.’
This approach looks quite similar to how Facebook is planning to bring internet to areas without internet connection by employing drones. But RQ-7 are some serious drones and military grade. What you think about the civilian use for these flying hot spots?