Senators Hoeven, Cramer highlight UAS advancements, space programs during UAS Summit and Expo

Cramer and Hoeven UAS
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 11:59 AM CDT
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GRAND FORKS, N.D. (KUMV) - North Dakota’s interest in unmanned aerial systems has made it a prime location for research and development. This week, Senators Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven spoke on how the UAS industry is growing and its benefits on a national level.

During the 16th Annual UAS Summit and Expo in Grand Forks, Cramer explained that North Dakota’s UAS ecosystem is helping the United States keep pace with China in terms of development. He also invited SpaceX Senior VP Tim Hughes to discuss the shared interests between the UAS and commercial space industries.

“The unique UAS ecosystem which has been developed here in northeastern North Dakota, northwestern Minnesota, and Grand Forks specifically, to include the test site at Grand Sky, the University of North Dakota and all the other players need to keep up with that speed. And they have,” said Cramer.

Hoeven helped unveil a new reusable hypersonic vehicle that will be used for testing hypersonic missiles in Grand Forks. He also explained how Grand Forks Air Force Base will play a role in operating space satellites as well as using UAS for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

“When we started the UAS Summit sixteen years ago, innovation meant getting unmanned aircraft into our domestic airspace. Now, we have built partnerships that go well beyond our original vision, reaching all the way to space,” said Hoeven.

Hoeven added that the University of North Dakota’s space studies programs can help meet the demand for qualified engineers and scientists.