The stateÂ of North Dakota and HarrisÂ 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.
HarrisÂ said Tuesday it received a two-year grant from the North Dakota Centers of Excellence Commission to createÂ aviation-grade network services for UAS BVLOS operations.
The company will also work withÂ the University of North Dakota and the Northern Plains UAS Test Site to buildÂ the network infrastructure system.
The infrastructure will be designedÂ toÂ 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 itsÂ remotely piloted aircraft at the company’sÂ Grand Forks, North Dakota-based Unmanned Aircraft System Flight Training Academy in July last year.
The Federal Aviation AdministrationÂ authorized the North Dakota-based Northern Plains UAS Test SiteÂ in late 2016Â to support UAS operations that go beyond line of sight.
Harris wants to partner with end users such as railroad and electric utility operatorsÂ to developÂ UAS test scenarios that involveÂ railway, roadway and transmission line inspections; precision agriculture; public safety and emergency services; and expanded flight operations.