WATCH: Google to Buy Drone Manufacturer Titan Aerospace

Titan Aerospace's Solara 50 boasts a wingspan of 50 meters and is 15 meters in length. The solar-powered atmospheric satellite can cruise at 104 kilometers an hour. The aircraft can be used for mobile communications. Its systems can provide coverage for over 17,800 square kilometers, making a single Solara platform provide a greater reach than 100 terrestrial cell towers. (Photo: Titan Aerospace)
Titan Aerospace’s Solara 50 boasts a wingspan of 50 meters and is 15 meters in length. The solar-powered atmospheric satellite can cruise at 104 kilometers an hour. The aircraft can be used for mobile communications. Its systems can provide coverage for over 17,800 square kilometers, making a single Solara platform provide a greater reach than 100 terrestrial cell towers. (Photo: Titan Aerospace)

Send in the drones.

Google says it has agreed to acquire Titan Aerospace, a 2-year-old start-up maker of high-altitude drones.

The search-engine giant did not say how much it will pay for Titan, whose solar-powered drones will help Google collect aerial images.

Google’s gain comes at the expense of Facebook, who earlier this year was in talks to buy the New Mexico-based company for a reported $60 million. Facebook ended up purchasing Ascenta, a U.K.-based aerospace company that has also been working on solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicles, for $20 million.

When Facebook announced its Connectivity Lab initiative last month, it said it added “the world’s top experts on aerospace technology,” including Ascenta employees.

The 20-person Titan team will be paired with Google’s Project Loon, which is building large, high-altitude balloons that send Internet signals to areas of the planet that are currently not online, according to Google.

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SOURCE: Jon Swartz
USA TODAY

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