Google is expanding its ambitions for WiFi in the sky with Project SkyBender, which aims to deliver 5G wireless Internet from solar-powered drones, according to a report in The Guardian.
The project, now undergoing trials at New Mexico's Spaceport Authority, is being developed by the same team responsible for Project Loon, which employs giant floating balloons that function like WiFi hotspots in flight.
SkyBender is reportedly housed in 15,000 square feet of hanger space at Spaceport America's Gateway to Space terminal built for the delayed Virgin Galactic space tourism venture. The facility, designed by business mogul Richard Branson is located near the New Mexico town called Truth or Consequences.
Google is using millimeter wave transmission technology for the project, which employs the use of the millimeter wave spectrum for radio transmission and can enable wireless speeds up to 40 times faster than current 4G capabilities.
According to The Guardian, to get millimeter wave working from a high-flying drone, Google is testing focused transmissions from a so-called phased array using a new solar-powered drone called Centaur in addition to drones made by Google Titan, a division the company formed when it bought New Mexico startup Titan Aerospace in 2014.
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