A Portuguese startup that aims to use solar-powered drones to provide wireless Internet access to offline areas of the world claims to have successfully completed its maiden test flight. The company Quarkson plans to use the SkyOrbiter drones that will stay airborne for weeks, months or even years at a time and will fly at altitudes of up to 22,000 meters. Also Read - Best laptops under Rs 40,000 in July 2021: Mi Notebook 14, Asus VivoBook 14, and more
The test flight took place on April 2 at an undisclosed location, Gizmag reported. The drone was equipped with Wi-Fi-transmitting equipment that can provide Internet access to local users on the ground via a patch antenna that receives the signal. Also Read - Spotify's What's New Feed will now notify users about new releases in real-time
The drone tested was a small version of those planned for eventual use with a wingspan of 5 meters. It was flown within line of sight up to an altitude of 100 meters and successfully relayed a Wi-Fi signal to the ground. One of Quarkson’s larger SkyOrbiter LA25 drones with a wingspan of 22 meters has reportedly already been built but could not be tested yet. Also Read - Nothing Ear 1, the company's first product officially launched in India
The drones are designed to be fully autonomous with an energy management system, autopilot and ground control software and long range communications working on different frequencies. They will be capable of transmitting via Long-Term Evolution (LTE) or Wi-Fi on the unlicensed spectrum or via Wi-Fi, LTE, 3G or 2G via a carrier on the licensed spectrum, Quarkson said.