English with IT-Wikipedia

6. Learning about Facebook. Part II – Innovations (B2 – C1)

In this less1186268_10101026493146301_791186452_non you will learn about the further development of Facebook and innovations it brings in its desire to connect the world.

The completion of this lesson will take you about 30 minutes.

So, how has it all been progressing?


Having grown from a local network designed to connect university students into the service used by more than 1 billion people worldwide, Facebook has never stopped taking up new challenges to progress towards technologically advanced future.

One of its greatest missions has been internet provision to the remotest parts of the world and you can read about it in more detail below from the accounts of Facebook engineers:

Read these 2 parts of the text and do the vocabulary exercises after:

Part I:

Today 1.6 billion people live in regions that don't have access to a mobile broadband network. Connecting these remote parts of the world with existing technologies such as buried optical fiber or microwave links on towers is often cost-prohibitive . As part of our commitment to Internet.org, the Facebook Connectivity Lab is developing many new technologies to bring affordable internet access to more people, more quickly. One of the technologies we are building is a fleet  of solar-powered aircraft called Aquila. Once they are fully operational, these high-altitude planes will stay  airborne for up to 90 days at a time and beam  broadband coverage to a 60-mile-wide area on the ground, helping to open the opportunities of the internet to people in underconnected regions.

After several months of flying scale models, our team has reached an important milestone: We successfully completed the first full-scale test flight. The low-altitude test flight lasted for 96 minutes — more than three times our planned mission length — and provided our aeronautics team with data on numerous aspects of Aquila's performance, including the autopilot, motors, batteries, radios, ground station, displays, basic aerodynamic handling, structural  viability , and crew training.

Part II:

As we move toward the next phase of testing Aquila, we face a variety of unique challenges. Put simply, this has not been done before. Almost everything about Aquila — from remaining airborne for months at a time to transmitting wireless signal between other aircraft and the ground — will require continued advances in science, engineering, and design.

  • Challenge #1 — Getting enough sun. For a solar-powered airplane to work, enough energy must be collected during daylight hours to operate for the full 24-hour day.  During the winter, the solar panels must be able to collect enough energy during the short days to keep the batteries charged over the long nights, up to 14 hours at a time.
  • Challenge #2 — Batteries. Keeping the airplane aloft on a long winter night requires a lot of stored energy. Given current and projected battery performance, that means batteries will account for roughly half the mass of the airplane. We're pushing the edge of high energy-density batteries while exploring the best designs to ensure we have enough resilience in the system.
  • Challenge #3 — Size and speed. Aquila has a wingspan  comparable to a commercial airliner's but weighs only one-third as much as a car. This ratio  of weight to surface area means that Aquila is able to fly much slower than a typical airplane of the same size. Such stark differences challenge many of the assumptions relied upon in aeronautical engineering. There is little to no precedent to guide us as we continue to optimize Aquila's performance.
  • Challenge #4 — New cost paradigms. For Aquila to succeed, it needs to be an economically viable alternative to current network infrastructure. We need to develop more efficient onboard power and communication systems; ensure the aircraft are resilient to structural damage to reduce maintenance costs, and able to stay aloft for long periods of time to keep fleet numbers low; and minimize the amount of human supervision associated with their operation. We're working with the industry on ways to accelerate the development of new technologies that can drastically change the economics of deploying internet infrastructure.

Over the next year we're going to keep testing Aquila -- flying higher and longer, and adding more planes and payloads. It's all part of our mission to connect the world and help more of the 4 billion people who are not online access all the opportunities of the internet.

Texts adapted from : https://code.facebook.com/posts/268598690180189


Enjoy Aquila's first flight:


Якщо цей урок був корисним, ми будемо раді підтримці! Це можна зробити тут:


чи поділитись цим уроком у соцмережах (кнопки під уроком). Дякуємо!

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Марія Приходченко, викладачка англійської мови | That School
Марія Приходченко
Role : Методист
  • Website : that.school
  • Experience : 4 роки досвіду у викладанні англійської мови; Диплом магістра з філології; диплом магістра з прикладної лінгвістики; сертифікат IELTS 8.5; cертифікат CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
  • Specialist in : Методика викладання та психологія вивчення іноземних мов
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