North Dakota is currently gearing up to become the national drone test site. The University of North Dakota has launched the first-ever drone-related degree program.

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Drones are increasingly being used for a whole range of tasks. And while such uses are still mostly confined to testing, it is expected that they would soon become legitimate, mainstream aerial vehicles. In anticipation of this, North Dakota has launched multiple initiatives to win the bid to be the national drone test site.


Drone

By 2015, it is expected that Federal Aviation Administration will give the final nod for military, commercial and private drones to be allowed. As soon as this green signals comes, a whole drone industry is going to kickstart into action, testing, developing and researching a whole range of drones.

And while that permission arrives, the companies are working on their pre-launch strategies, among which is the selection of a key site where drone flights could be tested. North Dakota is trying hard to win this bid and be the state where this national drone site is positioned.

To this end, the University of North Dakota has already launched the first-ever degree program in unmanned vehicles. This initiative is coupled with the fact that the state has dedicated funds to the tune of $2 billion for drone development and education. Such a huge budget ensures that when the times comes for drone-makers to invest in a testing site, North Dakota will be ripe with a tax-friendly and business-friendly climate.

At the same time, the University of North Dakota is directly collaborating with law enforcement agencies. The University has an Unmanned Aircrafts Systems Research Compliance Committee which comprises of multiple entities. This committee explores the possible drone applications by law enforcement folks and then decides whether or not a given proposal should be worked on.

In this way, even before the drone era has formally began, the University is working on the many applications of the technology. Of course the official induction of drones into the U.S. airspace will raise countless privacy-related question but the U.S. government and all other involves stakeholders currently seem completely oblivious of this.

Courtesy: Pop Sci

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  On August 21, 2013(1 year, 3 months ago.)

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