University Of North Dakota, SkySkopes Receive State Research Grant

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — A research project aiming to use drones to conduct energy audits of North Dakota college campus buildings received nearly $442,000 in grant funding last week.

The University of North Dakota Office of Research and Economic Development and drone flight operations company SkySkopes were awarded the funding as part of the state’s Research ND program, which provides matching funds to help companies pay for the university research, according to a news release.

The $441,983 grant will be used test the feasibility of deploying small drones equipped with thermal sensors to collect energy audit data on buildings on all of the North Dakota University System’s 11 campuses.

“That data will then be converted into actionable information that will allow the partner to perform rapid analysis of thermal images and assess costs of thermal leaks in heated buildings,” the release said.  

Research ND funding is awarded on a competitive basis for projects based on proposals submitted jointly by researchers from a North Dakota research university and a private sector partner.

Through the Research ND program, more than a dozen drone-related research projects in the state have received funding.