Project SkyBender : Google’s 5G drones that deliver Internet 40 times faster than 4G
Google is testing out its top secret 5G drones at New Mexico’s Spaceport Authority. The solar-powered drones are being tested with the help of Virgin Galactic, a spaceflight company owned by Richard Branson’s Virgin.
The Google project, codenamed SkyBender, involves testing solar-powered drones at Spaceport America using new millimetre wave technology to deliver data from drones – potentially 40 times faster than 4G
SkyBender involves testing several prototype transceivers and drones using millimeter wave radio transmissions and Google is reportedly paying Virgin Galactic $1,000 a day for the use of a hangar in the Gateway to Space building.
The SkyBender system is being tested with an “optionally piloted” aircraft called Centaur as well as solar-powered drones made by Google Titan, a division formed when Google acquired New Mexico startup Titan Aerospace in 2014. Titan built high-altitude solar-powered drones with wingspans of up to 50 metres.
Millimeter transmissions occupy the 28GHz frequency and although the range is shorter than that of current 4G technologies, the speeds are very fast. According to experts, milimeter wave technology can carry and transfer multiple gigabits of data per second, up to 40 times more than current 4G LTE systems.
According to Guardian, Google is working on the millimeter wave technology enabled solar-powered 5G droned to work out the fixes, such as a high tech antenna used phased array technology.
Millimeter wave technology is very much a theoretical project and if Google succeeds in its testing, the technology may be game changer in how we access internet.
Project SkyBender is part of the Google experiment to bring cheap internet using balloons. Google has been operating Project Loon balloons in many parts of the world.
Google has permission from the FCC until July 2016 for carrying out the 5G drone tests at Spaceport.