Google has acquired solar-powered drone manufacturer Titan Aerospace in an effort to bring internet access to more people in remote areas across the globe.
Titan Aerospace claims the drone technology it has been creating could stay in the air for years without needing maintenance, providing blanket internet coverage for an area spanning more than 17,000 miles.
Titan Aerospace announced the Google acquisition on its homepage, although neither firms have disclosed the financial details of the deal.
"It's still early days for the technology we're developing, and there are a lot of ways that we think we could help people, whether it's providing internet connections in remote areas or helping monitor environmental damage like oil spills and deforestation," reads the message on the Titan Aerospace homepage.
"That's why we couldn't be more excited to learn from and work with our new colleagues as we continue our research, testing and design work as part of the Google family."
Google confirmed the deal with a similar statement.
"Titan Aerospace and Google share a profound optimism about the potential for technology to improve the world," the web giant said. "It’s still early days, but atmospheric satellites could help bring internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems."
There were rumours in March this year that Facebook was interested in buying the New Mexico startup, which was founded in 2012, in a bid to help boost its Internet.org campaign to bring internet access to the next five billion people in developing countries. At the time, the deal was rumoured to be worth around $60m.
The Titan Aerospace website currently provides little detail of the drone technology it has been working on. However the technology was demonstrated at the AUVSI expo in August 2013.
Google also announced Project Loon in June 2013, an initiative to provide 3G-speed internet access to remote locations using a network of balloons carried by high-altitude winds.
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