New York: 12:45 || London: 17:45 || Mumbai: 21:15 || Singapore: 23:45

Reports US

US stock market daily report (April 14, 2014, Monday)

April 15, 2014, Tuesday, 05:11 GMT | 00:11 EST | 08:41 IST | 11:11 SGT
Contributed by Millennium Traders

Google Inc. (GOOG-Nasdaq), in attempts to ramp up wireless Internet access to remote areas of the world, announced the purchase Monday of a startup maker of high-altitude solar-powered drones Titan Aerospace. In an email statement from the search engine giant, Google said, "Atmospheric satellites could help bring internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation." Google spokesman said in a statement, "It is still early days, but atmospheric satellites could help bring Internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation."

Titan is developing a variety of solar-powered "atmospheric satellites" with initial commercial operations slated for 2015. The drones have a wingspan of 165-foot, slightly shorter than that of a Boeing 777, fly at an altitude of 65,000 feet and can remain aloft for up to five years. Titan is developing two dragonfly-shaped drones powered by batteries charged by wing-mounted solar panels to remain aloft at night. A smaller model from Titan is the Solara 50 with a wingspan of 164-foot that is larger than a Boeing Company (BA-NYSE) 767 jetliner.

Titan said its drones could collect real-time, high-resolution images of the earth, carry other atmospheric sensors plus, can support voice and data services. This type of technology could assist Google businesses including its Maps division. Titan claims its drones can help deliver data at speeds of up to one gigabit a second using special communications equipment. That speed is significantly faster than broadband speeds available in most developed countries.

In 2013 Google launched a small network of balloons designed to deliver Internet access over the Southern Hemisphere, dubbed 'Project Loon'. The project consists of high-altitude balloons that send Internet signals to areas of the world that are currently not online. Titan is expected to work closely with 'Project Loon.'

Titan also will work with Makani, another early-stage Google project that is developing an airborne wind turbine that is anticipated to generate electricity efficiently.

Google said other areas of focus for the teams includes advanced material design for lightweight flying vehicles plus algorithms for wind prediction and flight planning.

Vern Raburn, Chief Executive for Google, said Titan will maintain its location in Moriarty, New Mexico, with a staff of around 20 people, for the foreseeable future.

Facebook, Inc. (FB-Nasdaq) was previous bidder for Titan, just a few weeks ago.