Last week the FAA approved AT&T’s Flying Cow drones (which resemble a helicopter and surpass the FAA’s 55-pound weight limit, the FAA is making an exception in this case) to restore the cell network in Puerto Rico. Crews are still working to restore the island’s electricity. Two months after Hurricane Maria nearly leveled the island, only 43 percent of its power has been restored.

“The drones will carry a small cell, along with antennas, that are connected to the ground by a tether. This specific setup will allow power and fiber data connections to be brought to customers on the island. Further, the power being transmitted from the ground, up to the Flying Cow, will allow the Flying Cow to remain in the sky indefinitely.

The telecom giant’s drone will also connect to satellites to allow citizens to transfer calls, texts and data, and will potentially be able to fly over 300 ft in the sky, while providing coverage as far as 40 square miles away.”1

Sources and References

  1. RT, November 21, 2017.