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Vantis partners with Thales to build UAS infrastructure

GRAND FORKS – Vantis, North Dakota’s Statewide Unmanned Aircraft Systems Network, has selected Thales, a global technology leader, as its long-term systems integrator to build out this UAS, or drone, infrastructure across the state.

Vantis is a State of North Dakota-funded technology infrastructure that uses radar, radios and other communications equipment on towers distributed throughout the state to provide command, control and situational awareness to UAS pilots flying aircraft within the network’s coverage area. With Vantis, UAS pilots can see and avoid obstacles and fly safely at a distance – which means commercial UAS flights that are economically feasible and scalable to the size of business.

Currently, approvals to fly Beyond Visual Line of Sight must be obtained directly from the Federal Aviation Administration on an individual basis. Working with the FAA as the Vantis network is built out and proven will enable any operator who flies on the network to receive the appropriate approvals to facilitate true BVLOS flights – something that does not exist at this scale anywhere in the country.

As the systems integration partner for Vantis, Thales will deploy new communications and surveillance infrastructure in phases across the state. This infrastructure will be supported by a Mission and Network Operations Center that uses the State of North Dakota’s fiber optic telecommunications network along with robust digital services deployed on cloud-based infrastructure to support operational resilience.

Vantis infrastructure has been installed at key sites in western North Dakota, where testing is currently underway. As the system matures, Vantis will continue its expansion across the state.

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