Maybe that sounds dramatic, but it’s true. Soon unmanned ariel drones will be coursing the skies with laser beams. And there’s likely an ensuing a battle in the skies, but don’t expect Skynet to knock on your door in search of John Conner just yet. This is a battle of connectedness which will play out over our heads at tens of thousands of feet at the edge of the atmosphere and solar power has a vital part to play in it. It will fuel the Internet as companies increasingly go above the cloud to spread access to the Internet to remote locations where it’s not currently easily accessible via land lines or other options.
Following Facebook’s purchase of U.K.-based aerospace firm Ascenta last month, Google announced (April 14) that it purchased Titan Aerospace pitting the two Internet giants in a battle that will involve drones, ariel maneuvers—like staying aloft for weeks at a time whilst maintaining a position over a certain area, solar panels and yes, of course, laser beams. Titan but the Although in this case the battle is likely to remain bloodless and the laser beams will help increase access to the Internet across the world, instead of raining down some sort of laser-fueled death focussed on Mountain View or Menlo Park, Calif.
Facebook was believed to be interested in purchasing Titan, and supposedly offered $60 million for the company, according to Fast Company, but Google apparently offered a higher price. Instead, The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook paid $20 million for Ascenta.
Both companies are looking to the skies to spread the reach of the Internet further and the drones are the most likely way to do so. But to power the drones and make them operate for long periods of time without coming down to recharge, the companies that make these drones are using solar power to keep them aloft. The solar panels on the planes’ wings and fuselage will allow them to communicate with the ground, provide power for flight and navigation and store solar power in batteries allowing them to work overnight.
Google has also been experimenting with solar-powered balloon-based Internet stations that can float up or down to catch air currents to keep the devices over a specified area through its Project Loon. Though Google has launched a second set of balloons it appears the company is getting more serious about its efforts to bring the Internet to more people.Tweet