The North Dakota Department of Commerce has been awarded a five-year contract to support NASA’s unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) research.
Under the contract, the North Dakota Department of Commerce, operating through the Northern Plains UAS Test Site, received an initial award of $197,950 to support the NASA-developed UAS traffic management project, which includes a group of local partners – the University of North Dakota, Sensurion Aerospace, Altavian and Botlink.
The contract could lead to additional awards over the five-year period of performance, notes the commerce department.
“This NASA contract is more confirmation that our ongoing work to establish North Dakota as a national hub for UAS research, development and commercialization is gaining more traction every day,” states Gov. Jack Dalrymple. North Dakota is home to one of the six Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-selected UAS test sites in the country.
Doug Olsen, project manager with the Northern Plains UAS Test Site and principle investigator for this contract, adds, “NASA has been a strong partner with the FAA over the years working to integrate UAS into the national airspace system, and we are very excited to be a part of the NASA team.”
North Dakota has invested more than $34 million to establish a national UAS test site, to establish the Grand Sky UAS Business Park and to advance North Dakota’s position as a hub for the nation’s growing UAS industry, says the commerce department.