Facebook is reportedly in talks to acquire solar drone maker Titan Aerospace for $60 million as part of its Internet.org effort to connect more of the world.
Titan Aerospace makes solar powered drones that can work as atmospheric satellites to provide wireless internet access in parts of the world without communications infrastructure. The Solara 50 and 60 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Titan can be launched at night on battery power, and then they will rise up to a height of 20km, where they can remain for up to five years.
Titan say that their drones can also be useful for weather monitoring and disaster recovery due to their lower cost and better versatility when compared with traditional space satellites, but it is their use as communication network access points that will have interested Facebook.
TechCrunch cited anonymous sources familiar with the deal who put the purchase price at $60 million.