An FAA UAS test site in North Dakota is preparing drones to support response efforts after Governor Doug Burgum declared a statewide emergency for spring flooding.

The Northern Plains UAS Test Site (NPUASTS) administers Vantis, a statewide beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone network at the Grand Sky Business Park near Grand Forks. NPUASTS says it will use drones in several ways to enhance recovery efforts.

For instance, during pre-mitigation, drones will be used to monitor flood levels, melt rates, and ice jams. Further, drone flights will be coordinated with first responders for quick access to real-time information. A 24/7 Mission Network and Operations Center (MNOC) is also planned to enable secure, 24×7 coverage, and coordination with emergency response personnel.

According to NPUASTS, all drone images and video footage will be made available for public viewing. In addition, a comprehensive flood risk report will soon be available at