May 24, 2019
North Dakota investing $30 million in drone technology

North Dakota has pledged $30 million to improve drone capabilities in several areas, including agriculture.

In early May, Gov. Doug Burgum signed into law a bill that will “build out infrastructure that would support beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)” across North Dakota. One of goals of the initiative is to improve automated farming and precision agricultural.

“These investments will ensure that North Dakota remains America’s proving ground for UAS while also enabling commercial operations, which is good for our economy and taxpayers,” Burgum said in a statement. “We have gifted researchers, entrepreneurs and technology right here in North Dakota — as well as natural attributes such as open skies, variable climate, agriculture and energy — to diversify our economy and continue our trajectory as a national leader in UAS.”

The investment will establish a statewide BVLOS network to enable UAS efficiencies for state agencies, local communities and the commercial sector, including automated farming and precision agriculture. It will supply the infrastructure required for the command and control of UAS and the required surveillance equipment to safely integrate manned and unmanned aircraft in the National Airspace System.

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