UND forms UAS research team

By: By Kevin Bonham, Forum Communications, The Jamestown Sun

GRAND FORKS — By next spring, the Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department could be using unmanned aircraft to probe scenes of traffic accidents or hazardous spills.

But they’re not likely to be getting a bird’s-eye view of Springfest activities at University Park, where college students celebrate the impending end to school with sometimes unruly behavior.

The University of North Dakota’s UAS Research Compliance Committee, the first of its kind in the nation, is sorting through those and other ethical and privacy issues to develop UAS compliance standards, a document that could become a national model.

A preliminary set of guidelines may be approved by January, according to Barry Milavetz, UND professor of molecular biology and associate vice president for research development and compliance. He proposed the committee, arguing that privacy is a top concern for UAS research.