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November 21, 2014

Facebook Seeking Aerospace Experts to Work on Drone Plan

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Facebook is kicking its drone plans into high gear as it looks to recruit the professionals it needs to build the aircrafts, sources told Re/code.

According to the report, the social network posted three new drone-related job openings on its website Thursday, although, as of Friday morning, the site was under construction. The report indicated Facebook was looking for avionics, thermal and power systems and control engineers to work on aircraft-related projects.

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The company, prior to the latest job listings, had been seeking both technicians and engineers for three aerospace-related job openings at its London office. The jobs were posted a few months after Facebook’s purchase of U.K.-based drone maker Ascenta in March.

A Facebook spokesperson told Re/code the latest job openings are for Facebook’s California offices, but, the applicants chosen will work closely with the team in the U.K.

In the postings, Facebook is advertising for both associate and lead technicians to help with assembly of an aircraft’s mechanical structure. The firm is also seeking an engineer to “assist in the development, inspection and testing of a high-altitude solar powered aircraft.”

Drones are a big part of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to get the two-thirds of the world’s population without Internet access online. The initiative is being spearheaded by internet.org, a new global initiative to make Internet access available to five billion new households by 2023. Zuckerberg heads the organization.

Zuckerberg announced the organization’s intentions in a post on his social network in March.

In our effort to connect the whole world with Internet.org, we’ve been working on ways to beam Internet to people from the sky.

Today, we’re sharing some details of the work Facebook’s Connectivity Lab is doing to build drones, satellites and lasers to deliver the Internet to everyone.

Our goal with Internet.org is to make affordable access to basic Internet services available to every person in the world.

We’ve made good progress so far. Over the past year, our work in the Philippines and Paraguay alone has doubled the number of people using mobile data with the operators we’ve partnered with, helping three million new people access the Internet.

We’re going to continue building these partnerships, but connecting the whole world will require inventing new technology too. That’s what our Connectivity Lab focuses on, and there’s a lot more exciting work to do here.

The Connectivity Lab team, which includes the engineers behind Facebook’s infrastructure team and the Open Compute Project, now also includes some of the world’s top experts on aerospace technology such as a team from Ascenta, a British company with extensive expertise in designing and building high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) aircraft.

Other new members have come from organizations including NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA’s Ames Research Center, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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