Google has emerged as a firm that has plans to expand and try bold ideas while improving what it is great at. Recently, in order to improve its maps and to provide internet to the world, Google has acquired Skybox – a satellite firm – for $500 million. The firm is based in California with its headquarters located in Mountain View, California.
The idea is to first of all improve the map quality and then eventually use this acquisition to further the global internet project that Google has undertaken. As phase 1 of this acquisition; Google will be making use of Skybox’s satellite, which is already in orbit to enhance the material that it has licensed from over 1,000 sources and includes data from other satellite companies such as Astrium and Digital Globe. Eventually, Skybox will transform into Google’s Moonshot.
According to Google; ‘Skybox’s satellites will help keep Google Maps accurate with up-to-date imagery. Over time, we also hope that Skybox’s team and technology will be able to help improve Internet access and disaster relief — areas Google has long been interested in.’ Google executives have stated that they are chiefly interested in bringing more people online on the internet in order to come up with a more knowledgeable society. During the past decade, Google has made around 250 acquisitions. Skybox is 5 years old start up with the headquarters located about 1.5 miles from Google’s own headquarters.
Why is Skybox so awesome? Because the result that the conventional satellite gives while weighing thousands of kilograms, Skybox has achieved that with satellites that are 20 times smaller. According to Skybox; ‘The circuitry that drives our satellites – providing power, attitude control, communications, thermal management, and imaging support – are about the size of a phone book and consume less power than a 100w light bulb. We’ve integrated the latest, greatest, and fastest commercially available FPGAs, processors, and memory to ensure our small satellites pack the largest possible punch.’
Skybox was being led by Tom Ingersoll who is an aerospace industry veteran and employs about 100 people. What Google achieves out of this acquisition and how successful this acquisition proves to be is something that remains to be seen. Fingers crossed for Google!