Internet giant Google has finalised a deal to purchase US-based Titan Aerospace, a company with specialist knowledge in making solar-powered drones.
Financial aspects of the deal are yet to be revealed, but Google claims that the acquisition will allow it to offer internet access to the more remote sections of the globe where it is currently limited or non-existent.
Google, whose search engine is well-known for keeping SEO companies ahead of the game, also suggested that the drones could have other uses, such as disaster relief and the assessment of environmental damage.
The atmospheric satellites that Titan has been working on are still in the developmental stage of production, and are reported to be capable of staying in the air as long as five years. The product is not expected to be operating commercially for some time, with Google predicting that the first drones will be ready by 2015.
The acquisition of the New Mexico-based firm was revealed a matter of weeks following the news that Facebook was possibly intent on purchasing it. However, the social media platform opted to buy British solar drone enterprise Ascentia earlier this year for a fee in the region of £12 million.
Both companies are competing with each other to bring their ambitious plans to fruition, aiming to use technology such as that offered by drones, satellites and high-altitude balloons to connect the whole planet to the internet.