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DARPA will use drones to deliver wi-fi hotspots

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In the coming months soldiers in remote areas that have been cut off from their command units might once again have access. This will be made possible by DARPA's (Defense Advanced Reach Projects Agency) project “mobile hotspot”. The project will use former surveillance drones to provide wi-fi access.

Earlier this year the Pentagon had a problem. Many of the soldiers are being deployed to areas that don't have access to tactical centers and conventional methods of getting them that access just aren't feasible. So, how do we get wi-fi access to these remote areas? Who better to solve this problem than to turn to the agency that created the Internet. That is just what they did by handing the problem off to DAPRA. The answer DAPRA came up with for this problem was drones and project mobile hotspot was born.

“We’re pleased with the technical achievements we’ve seen so far in steerable millimeter-wave antennas and millimeter-wave amplifier technology,” said Dick Ridgway, DARPA program manager. “These successes—and the novel networking approaches needed to maintain these high-capacity links—are key to providing forward deployed units with the same high-capacity connectivity we all enjoy over our 4G cell-phone networks.”

Two months ago phase two of the project “mobile hotspot”. This second phase of the project will consist of attaching previous developed technologies to RQ-7 Shadow UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and mobile ground vehicles. If everything goes smoothly it won't be long before they are able to actually demonstration this method of providing a gigabyte-per-second network access.

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