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April 15, 2014

Google buys solar drone maker Titan Aerospace

The search engine hopes to bring internet access to remote areas of the world.

By CBR Staff Writer

Google has acquired Titan Aerospace, a solar-powered aerial vehicles (UAV) manufacturer in New Mexico, for an undisclosed amount.

The transaction is part of Google’s plans to expand internet access to remote areas across the globe.

Titan is currently making solar-powered atmospheric satellites that are expected to fly at an altitude of 65,000ft and remain in flight for about five years.

A Google spokesman said in a statement that atmospheric satellites could help bring Internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation.

"Titan Aerospace and Google share a profound optimism about the potential for technology to improve the world," the spokesperson said.

Both Google and Facebook are planning to make use of the drone technology to provide access to internet in the under developed areas at lower costs compared to satellites.

Facebook, which recently acquired UK-based aerospace company Ascenta for $20m, has also reportedly made a bid to buy Titan.

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Titan Aerospace website noted that it’s still early days for the technology, and there are a lot of ways that it could help people, whether it’s providing internet connections in remote areas or helping monitor environmental damage like oil spills and deforestation.

"That’s why we couldn’t be more excited to learn from and work with our new colleagues as we continue our research, testing and design work as part of the Google family," the statement read.

Titan, with its 20 employees, will continue to operate from its headquarters in New Mexico.

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