Turn on the first LTE connection from a drone
Turn on the first LTE connection from a drone

Parent company Google Alphabet Inc. Japanese tech giant SoftBank is about a smaller step in their commitment to making airborne base stations a reality by operating fixed LTE (LTE) links on solar-powered drones at 62,000 feet.

Communications between participants in Japan and the United States are sufficient to support international video calls.

Air base stations have several advantages over earth earth stations in that they cover a larger geographical area and can be moved to any location.

Although the concept is old, the technology is still in development.

Testing is part of the partnership between Loon and HAPSMobile, which was first announced in April 2019.

Loon is known for its balloon-based cell towers that allow communication while HAPSMobile builds airplanes.

It is a large autonomous drone (Sunglider) powered by solar energy and should be in the air for several months.

The Giant Glider resembles a huge wing 78 meters wide, supported by 10 fans and a top speed of 110 kilometers per hour.

The Sunglider (formerly HAWK30) is built for endurance rather than speed.

The aircraft remains much higher than a commercial flight, as it charges batteries using the plane's sun, and independently adapts to changes in the wind.

According to HAPSMobile, its successful LTE test is the world's first fixed-wing aircraft.

She added: The implementation was carried out as expected in challenging altitude conditions with wind speeds of over 58 knots (30 meters per second) and temperatures as low as -73 degrees Celsius.

LTE connectivity was used to support the video conference and Loon CEO, HAPSMobile External Director and Google Vice President attended the video conference.

(HAPSMobile) claimed that the call was high-fidelity and low latency, although the call did not provide detailed information on connection speed.

“The test flight is close to its goal of producing an environmentally friendly aircraft that provides high-speed Internet access. Worldwide,” Junichi Miyakawa, CEO and President of HAPSMobile, said in a press release.

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