Facebook's Connectivity Lab is developing many new technologies to bring affordable internet access to more people, including a fleet of solar-powered aircraft called Aquila that will beam broadband coverage to the ground. After several months of flying scale models, we successfully completed the first full-scale test flight. The low-altitude test flight lasted for 96 minutes — more than three times the 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. Follow the link to read more about our early learnings from the test flight and some of the challenges we're working on next. Link
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Our recently launched Recommendations feature, which turns text comments into a dynamically updating map attachment, was the result of collaboration among several teams here at Facebook. Machine learning helps recognize when a post is seeking recommendations and extracts the relevant terms, which are then fed into our local search engine to identify the places with the best match. Our Android and iOS teams also worked to process the information directly on the mobile device to update the post with new recommendations in real time. Link