GRAND FORKS, ND (KUMV) — North Dakota’s interest in unmanned aerial systems has made it a prime location for research and development. This week, Senators Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven spoke about the growth of the UAS industry and its benefits nationwide.
At the 16th Annual UAS Summit and Expo in Grand Forks, Cramer explained that North Dakota’s UAS ecosystem is helping the United States keep pace with China in terms of development. He also invited SpaceX Senior Vice President Tim Hughes to discuss common interests between UAS and commercial space industries.
“The unique UAS ecosystem that has been developed here in northeastern North Dakota, northwestern Minnesota and Grand Forks in particular, to include the Grand Sky test site, University of North Dakota and all other actors must follow this speed. And they did,” Cramer said.
Hoeven helped unveil a new reusable hypersonic vehicle that will be used to test hypersonic missiles in Grand Forks. He also explained how Grand Forks Air Force Base will play a role in the exploitation of space satellites as well as the use of UAS for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
“When we launched the UAS Summit sixteen years ago, innovation meant bringing unmanned aircraft into our national airspace. Now we’ve built partnerships that go far beyond our original vision, reaching all the way to space,” Hoeven said.
Hoeven added that the University of North Dakota’s space studies programs can help meet the demand for qualified engineers and scientists.
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