The University of North Dakota’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence (UAS COE) is the premiere UAS training program in the world. As the first school in the country to offer a four-year UAS degree, the UAS COE performs research on new technologies, educates and trains pilots for integration into the national airspace system, and encourages commercialization of UAS products to promote private sector job growth within North Dakota in an industry where spending is expected to more than double to $11.3 billion over the next decade.
The UAS COE, the Grand Forks Air Force Base, and North Dakota political leaders have been working together to make the State the hub for public and private unmanned aerial systems (UAS) technology and application both in the United States and globally. This collaboration has led the UAS COE, the Grand Forks Air Force Base and JLG Architects to convert a large building on the Base into a state-of-the-art Center for research and education. The flexible public-private facility is set up to train 24 students in classroom, library and conference settings, and also houses a Predator Mission Aircrew Training System (PMATS), making UND the first civilian operator of such a system. Future plans will allow the Center to more than triple in space when the need arises, ensuring North Dakota will be at the forefront of the UAS industry for years to come.