updated 03:53 pm EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
New Mexico-based firm purchased in its entirety for undisclosed sum
Google today announced that it has purchased drone manufacturer Titan Aerospace. The purchase will bolster Google's Project Loon effort to provide Internet access to remote areas wirelessly from the upper atmosphere, in addition to other services. The terms of the deal are unknown.
Google says the effort will benefit humanity as a whole. "Titan Aerospace and Google share a profound optimism about the potential for technology to improve the world," said the search engine giant. "It's still early days, but atmospheric satellites could help bring Internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems -- including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation."
Titan Aerospace's 20 employees will remain in New Mexico, but will be brought onto the Google payroll. Titan was in the midst of developing solar-powered atmospheric satellites, which could fly at 65,000 feet with a 165-foot wingspan. Initial commercial operations were slated for 2015.