North Dakota Has Invested Millions in Building Out Drone Infrastructure. Vantis is the Payoff.

The North Dakota drone industry just got a big advantage with Vantis, the nation’s first statewide UAS beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) network. “With Vantis’ unique statewide ecosystem supporting UAS, North Dakota is primed to become the nation’s epicenter of commercial UAS activity,” says a press release.

“North Dakota has a rich aviation history, and Vantis is a catalyst for the next wave of UAS innovators and entrepreneurs. We’re grateful for the Legislature’s significant investment in this statewide network, which creates a blueprint for private-public partnership within technology,” says Governor Doug Burgum. “North Dakota is the nation’s proving ground for UAS, and Vantis represents a bold step into the future of UAS operations in the United States and beyond. Progress in the UAS industry will benefit all North Dakotans, including those who work in energy and agriculture, as we lay the foundation for innovative technologies and diversify our economy.”

Last year, North Dakota invested $28 million for the creation of a statewide network to facilitate drone flight beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS.) The state has invested heavily in attracting the drone industry: with oil and gas, military installations, FAA test sight facilities, agriculture, and a lot of wide open spaces, North Dakota has a lot to offer.

“Through UAS infrastructure and support with regulatory approvals from the FAA, the network offers users an advantage never before available in creating industry applications, and public service and other use cases,” says the press release.  “The distinctive, clean-sheet name Vantis was created for its bold and disruptive quality, befitting the new perspectives seen and horizons built with this program.”

Collins Aerospace, a Raytheon Technologies Company, L3Harris Technologies; and Thales USA have been contracted to work with the Northern Plains UAS Test Site to enable real-world, scalable, commercial and public UAS BVLOS operations in North Dakota: which is comprised of four key components:

Remote infrastructure of surveillance sensors and command and control radios

Backhaul data network that is scalable and highly reliable

Mission and network operations center, with monitoring and system testing

UAS encompassing aircraft and ground control stations

“Beginning with key site implementation in the state’s western region – the heart of North Dakota’s oil and gas industry – Vantis will offer a complete solution for commercial and public UAS operators, providing the infrastructure and resources to make large-scale UAS

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