Although Facebook may have abandoned the Aquila project, there is still a Japanese joint venture called haps mobile, which is working on broadband Internet technology based on high altitude UAVs.On Wednesday, the company conducted an experiment in New Mexico, where a large solar powered UAV called sunglider completed 20 hours of data transmission tests in the 62500 feet (19050 meters) stratosphere.
Haps mobile broadband UAV in flight (from Spaceport America)
The 262-foot-wide Sunglider, is equipped with Internet balloon technology Alphabet Project Loon by Google's parent company.
During the test, Internet pioneer VINT Cerf and others carried out a video call. On Thursday, haps Mobile said it had been tested by strong winds.
Softbank Corp.(SoftBank), a Japanese technology and investment firm, holds a majority stake in the HAPS Mobile, as do AeroVironment drone makers.
In addition, the Google / haps alliance, which is committed to promoting high altitude pseudolite technology, is also involved to ensure that the global radio spectrum is used safely in airspace and that the haps network can work well together.
The test was conducted at an airport near the White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, and the haps mobile team conducted a test flight of the aircraft earlier (June).
In terms of configuration, sunglider is equipped with 10 motors, which can fly for several months at a time, and can carry a payload of 150 pounds (68 kg). The operating altitude above 60000 feet (18288 meters) is already above the stratosphere where most airliners normally fly.