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by Kevin Coupe

Call it yet another milestone in the drone wars.

Google said yesterday that it has acquired a company called Titan Aerospace, which makes high-altitude, solar-powered drone satellites that it says it will use for two purposes - taking photos of the earth, and connecting people to the Internet.

In a statement, Google said that the acquisition is based on a shared and "profound optimism about the potential for technology to improve the world," and that these drone satellites could be used to "bring Internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation."

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The testing of drones by companies such as Amazon, FedEx and UPS has been focused on speeding up delivery times in appropriate markets, but the Google efforts seem to have a higher set of goals. And Google is not alone; the New York Times reports that Facebook recently bought Ascenta, a British company that makes similar drones, and had been in discussions to acquire Titan Aerospace.

The Times notes that Google and Facebook have an obvious shared interest in delivering internet access to people in remote locations: "While satellites can deliver Internet access to sparsely populated areas, the cost of using satellite data connections can be very high. Drones, in comparison, will be able to reach those customers at a much lower cost."

I don't know about you, but I find this to be totally cool. And the very definition of an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: