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Local UAS firm Field of View featured in Documentary


Its role in the growing unmanned aircraft industry has earned a Grand Forks company a place in a small business documentary project.

Field of View, which creates sensors and software for unmanned aircraft systems, is among 100 small businesses nationwide chronicled through the Small Business Revolution project.

"UAS is kind of somewhat new, but it's becoming more commonplace," Field of View CEO David Dvorak said. "I think it just makes sense to normalize the idea of small businesses being a part of this new industry."

Field of View is the only North Dakota business featured in the documentary.

The three-person enterprise consists of Dvorak and fellow UND alumni Kaci Lemler and Danny Hajicek. Dvorak and Lemler man the company's Grand Forks office, while Hajicek works remotely from California.

Dvorak and Lemler were part of a photo essay created for the documentary project, completed with a visit from a professional photographer named Shaul Schwarz.

Schwarz' stop turned into more than a photoshoot.

"He had a drone he uses for some of his photography, and he was having some issues with it, so we took a look at it," Dvorak said. "In the process of him photographing us, we tried to work on his drone to help it work better."

Dvorak and Lemler identified a problem with the device's video sensor.

Since its founding in 2010, Field of View has focused on offering sensors--cameras outfitted with special accessories--that can be mounted on unmanned aircraft and software for use in agricultural applications, but Dvorak said it's now experimenting with surveying, as well.

As of now, special cameras mounted on unmanned aircraft can scan a field and help farmers determine areas of stressed and diseased crops. For ranchers, the images gathered can be used to count livestock and eventually locate sick animals based on body temperatures.

Researchers in North Dakota hope to continue expanding the list of uses for the technology, including Dvorak, who said the company is working with other local firms to do so.

All of those efforts and Field of View's operations are going well, Dvorak said, adding the company is getting ready for the upcoming growing season and will speak at the Precision Ag Summit later this month in Jamestown.
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