Google buys solar-powered drone maker
Titan's drones, dubbed "atmospheric satellites," can reportedly stay in the air for as long as five years
NEW YORK—Google has bought Titan Aerospace, a maker of solar-powered drones, saying it could help bring Internet access to remote parts of the world as well as solve other problems.
Financial terms were not disclosed. Google Inc. said that atmospheric satellites could also be used in disaster relief and assessing environmental damage.
Titan’s atmospheric satellites, which are still in development and not yet commercially available, can stay in the air for as long as five years, according to reports. Before it was updated Monday to reflect the acquisition, Titan’s website cited a wide range of uses for the drones, including atmospheric and weather monitoring, disaster response and voice and data communications.
Facebook Inc. was also in talks to buy New Mexico-based Titan earlier this year, but it acquired U.K.-based solar drone company Ascenta instead.
Both Google and Facebook have launched ambitious projects that aim to get everyone on the planet online. Google’s Project Loon sends giant balloons bearing Internet-beaming antennas into the stratosphere.