Google Buys Titan Aerospace, The Drone Company Facebook Had Its Eye On

The Titan team will reportedly work closely with Google's Project Loon, which will blanket the world with Internet access using weather balloons.

The airspace wars are nigh. On Monday, Google reportedly agreed to buy Titan Aerospace, a company that specializes in high-altitude drones, for an unspecified price tag. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Titan team "will work closely with Google's Project Loon, which is building large, high-altitude balloons that send Internet signals to areas of the world that are not currently online."

If the name Titan Aerospace rings a bell, yes, the company is the same New Mexico-based startup that Facebook was looking to buy earlier this year for $60 million. Only that deal may have quietly fallen through: When Facebook announced its Connectivity Lab initiative back in March, it noted that it added "the world's top experts on aerospace technology," including the team members from Ascenta, "a UK-based company with a deep expertise in designing and building high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) aircraft."

In any case, both Google and Facebook now both have the tools they need to continue their race to bring Internet to the third world. The skies are about to get very crowded indeed.

[Image: Titan Aerospace]

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2 Comments

  • Beth Escarbarb

    I feel like this is going to bring Google into contact with the politics of these countries that they seek to bring connectivity too. With these drones circling and providing internet connectivity in airspaces of sovereign nations, these sovereign nations might want to exert their sovereignty for whatever reason. I mean, like, if ad-driven, market-matching platform technology is going to be really valuable to these places, these countries would be foolish to let a bunch of foreigners own the platform for interaction and take some rent from it. China and Russia have their own indigenous internet companies.

  • Andrew Stuart

    I feel Google is getting a bit too overly zealous with robotics. I don't believe this is for internet connectivity as they just proved in 22 days project Loon was successful in circling the globe.This has to be for mapping data. The question is...how low they can these go and what value can they provide Google that they don't already have? I don't see how this benefits them all that much. This company is turning into a military defense contractor. http://bit.ly/1gxApUY