The Associated Press, Christina Rodriguez
Updated: August 18, 2020 10:50 AM
Created: August 18, 2020 07:15 AM
RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — A technology company aiming to send high-altitude airships above Earth to monitor crops and bring broadband has chosen New Mexico for its U.S. production center.
New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced Tuesday the Switzerland-based Sceye picked the state as its U.S. base for stratospheric flights for earth observation and communication.
Sceye has already invested more than $50 million in the state and has developed innovative technology at airports both in Roswell and Moriarty over the last three years.
The company founded by global humanitarian Mikkel Vestergaard will locate its manufacturing operation in the state and will create 140 high-paying manufacturing and engineering jobs.
Sceye is negotiating a deal to provide better broadband access to the Navajo Nation and other underserved areas in New Mexico.
"The COVID emergency has amplified the need for universal access to the advantage of a networked world, Vestergaard said. "There is a massive gap between the connected and unconnected."
Sceye plans to continue testing at the Roswell Air Center in the coming months. Their airships have the potential to provide 100% broadband coverage to rural areas in the state, while simultaneously monitoring methane emissions.
“This is a game changing application of science and technology that will allow real-time and remote monitoring of our environment,” James Kenney, New Mexico Environment Department cabinet secretary, said.
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