The tour, which focuses on NDSU’s UAS Applications to Agriculture Project, will be held July 15.

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for agriculture will be the focus of an afternoon tour during the North Dakota State Univ. Carrington Research Extension Center’s annual field tours on Tuesday, July 15.

The tour is scheduled to run from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The UAS tour will present information on NDSU’s UAS Applications to Agriculture Project that is being conducted as part of the Northern Plains UAS Test Site (NP UAS TS). This is one of six sites nationwide that will conduct research to assist the Federal Aviation Admin. in developing regulatory standards to foster integration of UAS into the National Airspace System (NAS).

John Nowatzki, Extension Service agricultural machine systems specialist with NDSU’s Department of Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering, will discuss the UAS Applications to Agriculture Project. The project’s objective is to verify the effectiveness of UAS-mounted sensors in assessing field crop and livestock production issues while crews from the NP UAS TS gather flight data in support of aeronautical research for UAS NAS integration efforts.

Nowatzki also will discuss the aircraft being used in the project and their image-sensing capabilities. Al Palmer, director of the University of North Dakota’s Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research, Education and Training, will discuss UND’s program for supporting commercialization of UAS ventures.

UAS research flights also are planned (weather permitting) during the field day event to gather the project’s weekly data. These flights will be conducted by a flight crew from the NP UAS TS and the UND John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.

CREC researchers will present the current results of a number of research projects and make comparisons between data from aerial images and ground-based observations. Data will be presented on crops including corn, wheat and soybeans.

Eric Harnisch of Pulsar LLC, along with other NDSU UAS project partners, will provide their perspectives on opportunities for UAS in agriculture.

Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley and Robert Becklund, executive director of the Northern Plains Unmanned Systems Authority, will discuss North Dakota’s UAS test site and the opportunities this presents for UAS applications in agriculture and beyond.

The Carrington Research Extension Center’s field Day events begin at 9 a.m. with a welcome and introduction of guests and speakers. Morning tours will begin at 9:30 a.m. They will focus on agronomy, northern hardy fruits, beef production and organic/sustainable agriculture. Lunch will be served at noon. No preregistration is needed.

The center is 3.5 miles north of Carrington on U.S. Highway 281. For more information, contact the center at (701) 652-2951 or visit its website at