Old Drones Used As Flying, Wireless Hotspots

Members of the National Guard launch an RQ-7 Shadow UAV at Volk Field in Juneau County, Wisc.

The military is pouring a huge amount of resources into unmanned systems like UAVs. Every year, drones get fancier and more capable, which means that there’s an increasing number of slightly less fancy and slightly less capable drones gathering dust and feeling lonely in a hangar somewhere.

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has an idea of what these drones might be good for: not delivering weapons, not surveillance, but instead providing mobile high-speed network connectivity for deployed troops.

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