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Is There a Drone in Your Future?

Jun 1, 2014

Posted by

Charles Dahlheimer

Recognized as one of the industrys leading visionaries, Dahlheimer is publisher of The Real Estate Professional magazine and The Real Estate Executive Summary.  He co-authored Real Es Read more

Google has acquired Titan Aerospace, the drone startup that makes high-flying robots which was previously scoped by Facebook as a potential acquisition target (as first reported by TechCrunch), the WSJ reports. The details of the purchase weren’t disclosed, but the deal comes after Facebook disclosed its own purchase of a Titan Aerospace competitor in U.K.-based Ascenta for its globe-spanning Internet plans. Both Ascenta and Titan Aerospace are in the business of high altitude drones, which cruise nearer the edge of the earth’s atmosphere and provide tech that could be integral to blanketing the globe in cheap, omnipresent Internet connectivity to help bring remote areas online. According to the WSJ, Google will be using Titan Aerospace’s expertise and tech to contribute to Project Loon, a balloon-based remote Internet delivery project.       

Read the full story at TechCrunch and the original report at The Wall Street Journal (paywall).

Meanwhile, the REALTORS Land Institute, along with 33 other organizations, signed on to a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to encourage the agency to expedite the rulemaking process for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations in the U.S. airspace. The letter also calls on the FAA to allow the limited use of small UAS for commercial purposes before the final rulemaking is completed.

In addition to expediting the UAS rulemaking, the organizations urged the FAA to use its congressional authority to allow some limited UAS operations right away., stating "We recommend the FAA use all available means, including Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, to allow for some limited UAS operations, subject to the Secretary of Transportation's safety determination, before the small UAS rule is finalized."   

 The co-signees include the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) and a broad array of organizations and industries, from agriculture to real estate to photography.