Our goal is to drive the world-changing developments of autonomous systems.
A national leader in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) education and research that has pioneered its use in agriculture and energy as well as policy and law enforcement, UND could continue that lead when it comes to cyber security and data analytics, said Mark Askelson, champion of the autonomous system Grand Challenge.
The UND Research Institute for Autonomous Systems (RIAS) has yielded major funding from the FAA for detect and avoid technology, and industry partnerships with companies such as Xcel Energy have yielded benefits for both industry and UND.
Askelson’s goal is to maintain UND and North Dakota’s leadership status by offering a rapid response team for use by the military, FAA, industry and government that could quickly offer applied research and technology. The team would use big data to, for example, model oil reservoir pools and increase cyber security.
“This could offer a big return to the state,” Askelson said.
- Best in the nation UAS ecosystem: academic research, training and education; FAA-authorized UAS Test Site; multiple start-ups involved in UAS flight, data acquisition and analysis; major defense contractors Northrop Grumman and General Atomics; Grand Sky UAS Business Park.
- Produced a string of firsts in the nation including "detect-and-avoid” and “beyond visual line of sight” research.
- Seed funding provided to recruit post-doctoral researchers and promote multidisciplinary research.
- Home to the first four-year undergraduate UAS degree.
Benefits to North Dakota
- UND’s UAS research supports the growing private sector ecosystem responsible for economic development and job creation with both technological and workforce development.
- Combines with Big Data research to extract maximum value from UAS derived data (e.g., imagery, sensor data).