The state of North Dakota and Harris have entered into a partnership agreement to develop a platform that will work to support beyond-visual-line-of-sight operations for unmanned aircraft systems.
Harris said Tuesday it received a two-year grant from the North Dakota Centers of Excellence Commission to create aviation-grade network services for UAS BVLOS operations.
The company will also work with the University of North Dakota and the Northern Plains UAS Test Site to build the network infrastructure system.
The infrastructure will be designed to expedite the regulatory approval of UAS BVLOS operations, Harris noted.
Brian Opp, manager of aerospace business development at North Dakota’s Commerce Department, said the state looks to build an environment where organizations can explore new UAS opportunities.
General Atomics‘ aeronautical systems business conducted the first flight of its remotely piloted aircraft at the company’s Grand Forks, North Dakota-based Unmanned Aircraft System Flight Training Academy in July last year.
The Federal Aviation Administration authorized the North Dakota-based Northern Plains UAS Test Site in late 2016 to support UAS operations that go beyond line of sight.
Harris wants to partner with end users such as railroad and electric utility operators to develop UAS test scenarios that involve railway, roadway and transmission line inspections; precision agriculture; public safety and emergency services; and expanded flight operations.