Solar-powered drones will soon help Pojoaque Pueblo monitor its vast land holdings from the sky.
Under a new partnership with Santa Fe-based Wildflower International, unmanned aerial systems made by Albuquerque-based Silent Falcon UAS Technologies will assist the pueblo in managing its roaming herd of wild bison, map cultural sites on Pojoaque land, and improve fire control and search-and-rescue efforts.
The flights will begin in January, providing Wildflower fertile terrain to train its newly-formed UAS flight team in preparation for the firm’s strategic pivot into the rapidly growing market for unmanned aerial services. It’s a completely new business for Wildflower, a 27-year-old information technology firm that Kimberly deCastro built into a thriving company with more than 83 employees.
“UAS operations are opening a lot more doors for us,” deCastro said. “It’s an emerging market that we’re investing heavily in.”