/ Science / Google buys solar-powered drone maker Titan Aerospace

Google buys solar-powered drone maker Titan Aerospace

Andrea on April 15, 2014 - 11:58 pm in Science
What’s that in the sky? Oh, just a Google drone going about its business doing (we are assured) good things. Google’s drone ambitions are legend at this point, but the company is taking another step toward making them real by purchasing high-altitude drone maker Titan Aerospace for an undisclosed amount.

Titan Aerospace develops drones with a very particular use case. Rather than design fast UAVs with the capacity to carry lots of stuff (like missiles and such), Titan Aerospace is working on drones that are solar powered and can stay in the air for years at a time. This makes it a perfect fit for Google’s project Loon, which was announced last year. Project Loon is an initiative out of the mysterious and fascinating Google X labs. The goal is to bring internet access to the world by way of balloons floating high up in the sky. You can see why Titan Aerospace’s technology would be of interest to Google.

Google originally thought it would let the Loon balloons float freely with only minimal steering by catching the wind. Titan’s technology could allow the company to build a fleet of floating access points that can be moved around as needed. Titan’s drones can also be equipped with cameras to take high-resolution images of the ground, thus improving Google Maps. Aerial imagery is often lacking in the remote areas these drones are intended to serve, so it’s a good match.

Titan says its drones have the capacity to deliver 1Gbps internet access to users on the ground, and could be operating commercially in 2015. That certainly gets around any issues Google might have with running fiber for those rumored Google Fiber expansions. Project Loon isn’t just for rural communities that have to deal with mediocre DSL — it could bring internet access to remote areas that have zero connectivity right now.

Source: News – Geek.com

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