It takes smart people and partnerships on the ground to build a system in the sky. Vantis and our industry partners employ teams of experts in traditional manned aviation, technology, research, and UAS operations. And our partnerships with the FAA and state and local governments set us apart. We do more than cut the red tape, we open the sky for you.
Partnerships Open Pathways
Northern Plains UAS Test Site
NPUASTS administers Vantis and has served as the state's one-stop UAS research and testing facilitator since 2013, bringing together government resources, industry leaders and public stakeholders, to pioneer BVLOS activity. It was instrumental in expanding standard airspace approvals to large enough areas that BVLOS flights became relevant and has been integrally involved in standards groups to develop operational procedures.
NPUASTS also drives approvals from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to bring the system together.
When the NPUASTS sought out a systems integrator for Vantis, the experience and capabilities of Thales USA kept checking all the boxes. A global technology leader, Thales platforms provide air traffic control (ATC) services across 40% of the globe's airspace, making Thales the #1 air traffic management (ATM) provider in the world. Thales has invested heavily in the future of aviation, integrating the right mix of existing and new technologies to anticipate and address the demands of our evolving airspace system.
In Vantis and North Dakota, Thales delivers an aviation-grade UAS integration capability designed specifically to complement manned aviation infrastructure while enhancing safety, integrity, and interoperability within the airspace system.
Vantis' system integrators, led by Thales USA, combine remote infrastructure such as airspace sensors, detection equipment, control radios, and backhaul data communications in the field with a centralized mission and network operations center (MNOC) to have one seamless network.
Vantis is utilizing North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) towers to deploy radars and other network technology around the state, lowering development costs by utilizing existing infrastructure. NDDOT is a state agency that consistently positions themselves at the forefront of UAS technology, using unmanned aircraft for road and bridge inspections for routine maintenance and following storms and floods.
The Northern Plains UAS Test Site, which administers Vantis, is housed under the North Dakota Department of Commerce. Breaking down the barrier of entry to BVLOS flights means economic development at every level for North Dakotans.
Vantis is utilizing North Dakota's statewide fiber optic network to connect its Mission and Network Operations Center (MNOC) to UAS operations around the state with a secure, private connection.
Participating in BEYOND
Vantis and Northern Plains UAS Test Site support North Dakota Department of Transportation's participation in the FAA's UAS BEYOND program, the successor to the Integration Pilot Program (IPP). A model of partnerships between state, local and federal organizations, BEYOND aims to facilitate the successful integration of UAS into the National Airspace System, with a particular focus on operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) of the operator that are repeatable, scalable, and economically viable.
This robust network will serve as the catalyst for broader commercial UAS operations for years to come; a complete solution that addresses the FAA's safety risk management process.
Vice President, Air Traffic Management, Americas, Thales