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Google Buys Drone Maker Titan Aerospace 41

Posted by samzenpus
from the welcome-to-the-google dept.
garymortimer (1882326) writes "Google has acquired drone maker Titan Aerospace. Titan is a New Mexico-based company that makes high-flying solar powered drones. There's no word on the price Google paid, but Facebook had been in talks to acquire the company earlier this year for a reported $60 million. Presumably, Google paid more than that to keep it away from Facebook. 'Google had just recently demonstrated how its Loon prototype balloons could traverse the globe in a remarkably short period of time, but the use of drones could conceivably make a network of Internet-providing automotons even better at globe-trotting, with a higher degree of control and ability to react to changing conditions. Some kind of hybrid system might also be in the pipeline that marries both technologies.'"
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Google Buys Drone Maker Titan Aerospace

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  • If they send up enough sats, could they make google maps realtime?
    • by tsqr (808554)

      If they send up enough sats, could they make google maps realtime?

      Realtime sounds like you're asking for the video edition of Google Earth. Let's assume you meant "updated frequently" instead. We'll also assume you're not interested in continuously updated images of empty ocean.

      Land surface area of our planet is about 57.3 million square miles. An aircraft at 65,000 ft has an observable "footprint" of a circle 600 miles in diameter; that's about 283,000 square miles. So at first blush, it looks like you'd need 203 or so aircraft to cover the land area. But you'd need

      • by Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Monday April 14, 2014 @05:19PM (#46751051) Homepage Journal

        We'll also assume you're not interested in continuously updated images of empty ocean.
         
        I think the families of Malaysian Flight 370 might have something to say about that.

        • by tsqr (808554)

          I think the families of Malaysian Flight 370 might have something to say about that.

          I'm sure they would, but the original question was about Google Earth, not ISR.

          If you want continuous coverage of all the world's oceans (you would, right; who knows where the next aircraft would disappear to?), then the coverage area balloons from 57.3 million square miles, to about 197 square miles. So, roughly quadruple the number of aircraft required to about 1200. Unit cost would be somewhere between $5 million and $10 million; at the lower number figure $6 billion or so just for the aircraft. Add i

  • he already shot down Amazon's drone plan, based on mathematics of powering electric planes, and the number that would have to be in the air.

    now, if Google was going to use drones to deliver upgrades and patches...

    but I bet it just looked cool, and they had cash in their pocket while window shopping.

  • Is the availability of solar power, and the low energy need to run basic wi-fi

    But one needs long-term trials showing survivability during storms and inclement weather events, as well as impacts on aviation due to mobile wi-fi.

    The main design choice is between mobile wi-fi repeater platforms that communicate with satellites for a period of time, and ones that have a fairly long lifespan (2-3 years) and are mobile to locate at a specific region. If you keep things up in the air, stuff happens to them. In the

  • And I thought they wanted makani kiteplains for green energy....they probably want them for the same as the other drones?

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