The partnership between North Dakota State University (NDSU) and Elbit Systems of America – which is matching the state's contribution for a total of $715,092 – will make North Dakota the first state to fly a large UAS for precision agriculture in national airspace, according to the senator.
NDSU Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering will collect crop data using infrared, thermal, color and multi-spectral sensors on both large and small UAS. This data will then be compared to available satellite imagery and ground data collected using similar sensors. The analysis will be done by NDSU’s Center for Computationally Assisted Science and Technology.
“Agriculture is critical to our state’s economy and future, and it’s great to see the UAS technologies we’re developing in the state be deployed to help farmers monitor crops, identify problems and improve their yields,” says Heitkamp.