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Unmanned aircraft systems tour featured at Carrington field day

Unmanned aircraft systems for agriculture will be the focus of an afternoon tour during the NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center's annual field tours on Tuesday, July 15.

The tour is scheduled to run from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The unmanned aircraft systems tour will present information on NDSU's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Applications to Agriculture Project that is being conducted as part of the Northern Plains Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site. This is one of six sites nationwide that will conduct research to assist the Federal Aviation Administration in developing regulatory standards to foster integration of unmanned aircraft systems into the National Airspace System.

John Nowatzki, Extension Service agricultural machine systems specialist with NDSU's Department of Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering, will discuss the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Applications to Agriculture Project. The project's objective is to verify the effectiveness of unmanned aircraft systems-mounted sensors in assessing field crop and livestock production issues while crews from the test site gather flight data in support of aeronautical research for National Airspace System integration efforts.

Nowatzki also will discuss the aircraft being used in the project and their image-sensing capabilities. Al Palmer, director of the University of North Dakota's Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research, Education and Training, will discuss UND's program for supporting commercialization of unmanned aircraft systems ventures.

Research flights also are planned during the field day event to gather the project's weekly data. These flights will be conducted by a flight crew from the Northern Plains Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site and the UND John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.

Carrington Research Extension Center researchers will present the current results of a number of research projects and make comparisons between data from aerial images and ground-based observations. Data will be presented on crops including corn, wheat and soybeans.

Eric Harnisch of Pulsar LLC, along with other NDSU unmanned aircraft systems project partners, will provide their perspectives on opportunities in agriculture.

Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley and Robert Becklund, executive director of the Northern Plains Unmanned Systems Authority, will discuss North Dakota's unmanned aircraft systems test site and the opportunities this presents for applications in agriculture and beyond.

The Carrington Research Extension Center's field day events begin at 9 a.m. with a welcome and introduction of guests and speakers. Morning tours will begin at 9:30 a.m. They will focus on agronomy, northern hardy fruits, beef production and organic/sustainable agriculture. Lunch will be served at noon. No preregistration is needed.

The center is 3.5 miles north of Carrington on U.S. Highway 281. For more information, contact the center at 701-652-2951 or visit its website at

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.

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Last Updated: Thursday, May 19, 2022 2:51:57 PM
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