Skip to main content

Vantis to build out operations center in Grand Sky aviation park

North Dakota’s Vantis BVLOS drone network continues to hit milestones. The group has just signed a deal to build its mission and network operations center (MNOC) in the Grand Sky business and aviation park.

The operations center will act as the main headquarters for all drone operations on the network, allowing employees to monitor everything going on at once.

MNOC will provide network operations monitoring and administration, customer coordination and support, performance, and safety data reporting. It will allow employees to validate operator and unmanned aircraft information, confirm operational flight approvals, authorize information access, and review documentation, training, and credentials.

Nicholas Flom, executive director of the Northern Plains UAS Test Site, shared:

The MNOC is an indispensable part of the infrastructure of Vantis. We’re putting together all of the technology necessary to accomplish our lofty goals, so as physical remote infrastructure is deployed, the MNOC is ready to go to connect the network.

Vantis was chosen to be the name for its bold and disruptive quality, befitting the new perspectives seen and horizons built with this program. The now named statewide beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone system will allow users to access the network with the infrastructure and resources already provided.

Four key components give the network its advantage:

  • Remote infrastructure of surveillance sensors and command and control radios
  • Backhaul data network that is scalable and highly reliable
  • Mission and network operations center, with monitoring and system testing
  • UAS encompassing aircraft and ground control stations

Jim Cieplak, program manager of Vantis, added:

It’s really the command center of the entire network. The MNOC will be integral to coordinating flights and ensuring safety, and it couldn’t be in a better location.

Last year, North Dakota invested $28 million to create the statewide BVLOS network as a part of a larger plan to make the state drone-friendly. The BVLOS network started in the state’s western region, where the oil and gas industry is located. Allowing commercial companies in the area to take advantage of drone deliveries and inspections.

Learn more about North Dakota’s love for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations:

Photo: Vantis



Avatar for Josh Spires Josh Spires

Josh started in the drone community in 2012 with a drone news Twitter account. Over the years Josh has gained mass exposure from his aerial photography work and spends his days writing drone content for DroneDJ as well as pursuing his business.