The Bakken is a natural test ground for drones in North Dakota


The Bakken is a natural test ground for drones in , says Matt Dunlevy, president and CEO of SkySkopes in a guest column for the Grand Forks Herald.

The Bakken is a natural test ground for drones in North Dakota

Matt Dunlevy, president and CEO of SkySkopes writes:

North Dakota's probably most rich UAS ecosystem in the country has culminated into a huge success coming out of Grand Forks' Northern Plains UAS Test Site…

This initiative is called the “Statewide Network,” abbreviated to “SWN,” and is a patchwork of radar systems first in line to be approved by the FAA for the use of drones to fly beyond-visual-line-of-sight ().

These radar systems that three systems integration companies will be installing first in Watford City in the coming few months will be able to satisfy the FAA's safety concerns and deconflict UAS with general aviation pilots.

The network will pave the way for larger drones to fly systems over pipelines for greater distances, keeping oil companies in compliance and reducing their needs for capital expenditures on maintenance.

In the event of a spill, the rapid deployment of long-range UAS flying BVLOS will be able to get real-time situational awareness of the affected area faster than other methods.

One thing that the North Dakota UAS environment has shown is that drones save money. Their cost savings potential with the SWN is only going to increase, warranting further consideration of their use.

The Bakken Is A Natural Test Ground For Drones In North Dakota

The Bakken Is A Natural Test Ground For Drones In North Dakota 1

You can read the entire article here.

SkySkopes is based in Grand Forks, N.D. The company has several offices in North Dakota, as well as in , , , and .

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

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