UAS Start-Up Producing Imagery for North Dakota’s Grand Sky Park


Grand Sky, North Dakota’s business and aviation park focused on developing the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry, has partnered with local UAS company SkySkopes to produce high-resolution imagery of construction activities at the 217-acre park in Grand Forks.

SkySkopes will collect imagery at Grand Sky over a nine-week period by using heavy-lift octocopters, which allow the operators to use a variety of payloads and conduct stable flights during windy conditions. Images will include time-lapse photography of the construction, as well as high-resolution mapping for architectural and construction purposes.

Grand Sky, executed in partnership with Grand Forks County, is being developed on a site co-located on Grand Forks Air Force Base. Phase one of the project is currently under construction.

SkySkopes has been operating at Grand Sky since Sept. 9, when the company flew a DJI S1000 as the first commercial UAS to be launched from the park. The initial flight also marked the first time a commercial UAS received FAA permission to operate on a U.S. military base, says Grand Sky.

“We’ve been making history for months: as the first UAS start-up to receive Section 333 exemption in North Dakota, the first company to fly a commercial UAS at Grand Sky and the first company in the country to fly a commercial UAS on military property. And we are thrilled to help another history-maker like Grand Sky document its progress,” says Matt Dunlevy, president and CEO of SkySkopes.

At Grand Sky, the company will continue to prove its flight capabilities and skill through frequent launches and data- or image-gathering missions.

“Grand Sky was created to help advance the UAS industry by offering a dedicated space for companies to conduct research and fly unmanned aircraft, whether they be established aviation industry players or ambitious UAS start-ups,” adds Thomas Swoyer Jr., president of Grand Sky Development Co.

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