Google Grabs UAS Company Targeted by Facebook

Google has acquired New Mexico-based unmanned aerial system (UAS) manufacturer Titan Aerospace. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Titan is developing ‘atmospheric satellites,’ which are autonomous, solar-powered UAS that can continuously fly in the upper reaches of the Earth's atmosphere for five years at a time. The company expects to enter commercial operations in 2015.

Titan will remain in New Mexico and work with Google's Project Loon, an initiative that aims to beam the Internet to parts of the world that lack connectivity by way of large, high-altitude balloons, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

In addition, the Titan team may be involved with Makani, a Google project to develop an airborne wind turbine that generates energy with greater efficiency. Titan could also offer services to Google's Maps division, as the company reports that its UAS can provide real-time, high-resolution images of the Earth.

In early March, Facebook was reportedly in negotiations to purchase the start-up. However, the social media giant instead spent $20 million to acquire Ascenta, a U.K. company in the same line of business as Titan.

Read the full Wall Street Journal article here.


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