Imagine the day when a farmer pushes a button that launches an unmanned aircraft. The aircraft flies over a field, captures high-tech images of the crop below and translates the images into easy-to-understand information.
Lake Region State College in Devils Lake is getting into the unmanned aircraft systems industry. The college plans to offer training for law enforcement officials and farmers in the use of UAS, and it’s partnering with UND, home to the Center for UAS Research, Education and Training.
Northrop Grumman has committed to being the anchor tenant of a proposed unmanned aircraft systems technology park at Grand Forks Air Force Base, according to Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.
The North Dakota House recently passed a bill requiring police departments to get a warrant before they use a drone. It should become law because it appropriately balances citizens’ interest in privacy with the interest of all of us in public safety.
Despite a burgeoning national movement that’s resulting in proposals to protect individual privacy from coast to coast, too few police officers in North Dakota seem to take seriously the privacy concerns raised by drones.
Unmanned aircraft systems are hugely important for the future of Grand Forks. The field is sure to see spectacular growth, companies will want to “cluster” near UAS centers at universities and military bases — and Grand Forks fills those bills.
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