The Northern Plains UAS Test Site (NPUASTS), Thales USA, and Airspace Link have announced the availability of localised surveillance data to registered UAS operators on Vantis, North Dakota’s statewide uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) beyond visual line of site (BVLOS) network.

Vantis is making it easier for all operators to fly in North Dakota through the surveillance supplemental data service. Registered UAS operators can access the service to display surveillance tracks of crewed traffic while planning and operating UAS flights within a Vantis service volume.

Administered by NPUASTS, Vantis has several managed services, including surveillance and command and communications (C2) connectivity, to enable UAS pilots to see-and-avoid other aircraft. This makes it easier for commercial UAS operators to obtain local surveillance information for both Line of Sight and BVLOS operations.

Drone surveillance

The surveillance SDSP service follows the concepts outlined in the FAA UTM ConOps 2.0. The network is enabling the collection, validation, and distribution of surveillance data from Vantis’ non-federal surveillance assets to provide localized airspace data for awareness to UAS operators directly through the Vantis USS portal.

NPUASTS and Thales partnered with Airspace Link, an FAA-approved UAS Service Supplier of the Low Altitude Authorization & Notification Capability (LAANC), to manage, distribute and display Vantis airspace monitoring data in near real-time to registered UAS operators. This service increases situational awareness in both the planning and operation of the mission.

‘Essential progress’

“We know the barriers and hurdles that make at-scale utilization of UAS a challenge,” said Erin Roesler, Director of Operations and Vantis Programme Executive at NPUASTS. “With this launch – part of a series of services Vantis that enhances safety, expands capabilities, and enables more operations – Vantis facilitates more drone operations to serve more industries with more use cases. It’s exciting and essential progress.”

“The State of North Dakota is demonstrating its commitment to working closely with the FAA to continue to enhance the safety of the national airspace,” said Frank Matus, Director of ATC and Digital Aviation for the Americas at Thales. “Airspace Link is enabling a pathway for us to deliver value-added services to UAS operators in our State agencies, communities, and those commercial operators that want to fly BVLOS and VLOS operations in North Dakota.”
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