Company hopes to lift off by testing unmanned aircraft


Bowhead Systems & Technology Group is trying to land a contract to have Nevada be one of the testing sites for nonmilitary use of unmanned aircraft.

One of the valley’s newest corporate arrivals, its offices are at 777 N . Rainbow Blvd., filled with art featuring whales, which may seem surprising for a high-tech company. The truth is that the company, which deals with cutting-edge technology, is an Alaskan Native Corporation owned by Inupiat eskimos, who maintain their tradition of harvesting a whale to feed the village for a year .

As far as the contract for unmanned aircraft, the Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 directed the Department of Defense to integrate unmanned aircraft systems into six test ranges in the United States.

“We’ve been working with the state pro bono since February,” said Michael S. Bradshaw, president of Bowhead Systems & Technology Group. “We’ve done a substantial amount of business development activities. We’ve done everything from creating a logo for the team to obtaining and setting up Nevada’s booth at AUVSI.”

The booth will be at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International’s 2013 industry symposium , scheduled Aug . 12 to 13 in Washington, D.C. The symposium will play a major role in deciding where the six test sites will be.

“It’s going to be a $90 billion industry, and I think Nevada should get a sixth of that,” Bradshaw said.

The company is headquartered in Barrow, Alaska . It was incorporated in 1973 under provisions of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act . The act settled land claims of native Alaskans by forming 12 Alaska Native Corporations . In 40 years, they landed multiple Department of Defense contracts. The Las Vegas office is a new regional headquarters for Bowhead .

“I brought the company here because we had a hole in our map, and we’ve plugged that,” Bradshaw said. “We looked at several places, including Salt Lake, Washington state and San Diego, but in the end, Nevada just offered us more logistically.”

The move brings Bradshaw back to his hometown after many years of working in other parts of the country. He said he is pleased to be back .

Jonathan Daniels, technical director of unmanned aircraft systems , said the eight companies that make up the Bowhead group deal with a range of issues.

“Across the board, we work with programming management, system engineering, software management, IT services, training and simulation, logistics, telecommunication, project procurement and administrative support,” Daniels said. “It’s a giant breadth across a series of different scopes.”