Facebook Buying Drones?

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Common Dreams

Facebook Buying Drones?

The web giant is repotedly in talks to buy company that makes solar-powered drones

by
Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Internet giant Facebook is reportedly in talks to buy Titan Aerospace, a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay airborne for five years at a time.

The acquisition of the New Mexico-based company would reportedly be part of the Internet.org initiative, of which Facebook is a founding partner, whose goal is to bring Internet access to parts of the world currently not connected to the web.

TechCrunch, first to report on the potential $60 million-acquisition, wrote that the company would start by building 11,000 of Titan's Solara 60 "atmospheric satellite" model of solar drones, which would provide a a less expensive alternative to an orbital satellite.

On its website, Titan states that these "atmospheric satellite" are in the development phase.

Titan unveiled its Solara 50 and 60 prototypes in August at the AUVSI Unmanned Systems 2013 conference.

TechCrunch also pointed out this video uploaded by TomoNews, which explains some of the specs on these solar drones:

Another web giant, Google, has its own, similar project in the works. Instead of drones, its "Project Loon" would use a network of floating balloons to provide Internet access. Google is continuing testing on its Loon project in California.

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