UND co-sponsors sixth annual summit on unmanned aircraft systems in Grand Forks May 22-23

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John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences


How unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are used for both peaceful and military purposes will be the focus of the Sixth UAS Action Summit May 22-23 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks.

The conference theme – "From Battle Field to Farm Field" – examines measures that the nation and the UAS industry preparing for to meet the use and growth of UAS within the national airspace in both defense and commercial applications. The development of restricted airspace and advanced sense-and-avoid technologies will be among the topics covered.

The event is cohosted by the City of Grand Forks and the Red River Valley Research Corridor (RRVC), a non-profit corporation promoting science, technology and engineering initiatives that create new opportunities in the Red River Valley region of eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota.

The summit's honorary cohosts are U.S. Sens. Kent Conrad and John Hoeven of North Dakota. Also delivering remarks during the conference will be U.S. Reps. Rick Berg of North Dakota and Collin Peterson of Minnesota, and North Dakota Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley.

The first day keynote speaker is Jamie Morin, the U.S. Air Force comptroller and assistant secretary for financial management. Maj. Gen. James O. Poss, U.S. Air Force assistant deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, is the featured speaker.

The keynote speaker on day two is James H. Williams, Federal Aviation Administration, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office executive manager, who will give a briefing on airspace integration and UAS test site development.

Other presenters include industry leaders, policy makers, entrepreneurs and researchers, who will discuss and explore actions needed to foster growth in the unmanned systems sector. Leading experts, industry leaders and federal policy makers will cover a range of topics including FAA test sites and restricted airspace, emerging UAS training, precision agriculture and other civilian/commercial applications. Over 450 UAS professionals attended the event last year.

UND is among the sponsors of the annual conference through its John D. Odegard School for Aerospace Sciences and the University's Office of Research and Economic Development. Several UND faculty members will serve as speakers, moderators and panel members during the event. . UND President Robert Kelley will deliver the welcoming and opening remarks for the Wednesday, May 23, session.

UND's Center for UAS Research, Education and Training provides a conduit between private industry and UAS researchers, promoting commercialization of new UAS-related products and services while bringing UAS-related business ventures to North Dakota. UND also offered the country's first bachelor's degree in UAS operations.

For an agenda of summit events, go to http://theresearchcorridor.com/uassummit2012/agenda