The Grand Forks Air Force Base outside Grand Forks, North Dakota is working to be one of the premier UAV operation sites for arctic operations according to WDAZ. The UAVs they are looking at are the Global-Hawk small airplane sized drones, not the model airplane drones being focused on in other ways. This would mean US military, like the Air Force would fly UAVs out of the AFB to monitor military and commercial operations in the arctic. It may eventually host commercial UAVs on the scale of the Global Hawk for multiple commercial operations. The GIS/Geomatics community will be following this as it allows larger scale drone surveying in aerial photos and LiDAR data (straight or derived) than smaller model scale UAVs.
The Grand Forks AFB is expected to work with the University of North Dakota’s John D Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences to continue research on UAV applications.