Vantis Seeks Proposals for Vendors Supporting BVLOS Testing

By Vantis | December 02, 2021

GRAND FORKS, ND – Vantis, North Dakota’s Statewide UAS Network, has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking multiple unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, to support operational testing of beyond-visual-line-of-sight flights (BVLOS) on the network. Proposals are due by December 31, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. CT.

Vantis is a network of radars, radios, and other technologies on towers that can track manned and unmanned aircraft, allowing the UAS pilot to see and avoid obstacles and fly the UAS safely, even beyond the visual line of sight of the pilot. In collaboration with our partner and system integrator, Thales, Vantis will eventually cover the entire state of North Dakota, opening the door to more common-place BVLOS flights.

“Enabling BVLOS flights is the holy grail of the UAS industry right now,” said Trevor Woods, interim executive director of the Northern Plains UAS Test Site, which administers Vantis. “It will create opportunities and use cases across dozens of industries.”

Vantis has already completed developmental testing, which included using Vantis to track manned and unmanned flights in the area to be certain that all of the technologies involved were performing reliably in a variety of conditions. Operational testing involves repeating these tests with a variety of UAS to ensure that these systems continue to perform across multiple UAS platforms and use cases. Data collected during these testing phases will be used by our partners at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to confirm the safety case of the Vantis network.  

“We’ve worked closely with our partners at the FAA to establish rigorous testing procedures to ensure that Vantis meets the highest standards of safety,” said Jim Cieplak, Vantis program manager. “This multi-UAS RFP will enable that rigorous testing, and move us one step closer to repeatable, scalable, economically-viable public and commercial BVLOS flights.”

The approximate RFP schedule is as follows:

  • December 3, 2021 – Deadline for receipt of questions and objections related to the RFP
  • December 10, 2021 – Responses to questions / RFP amendments (if required)
  • December 31, 2021, 2:00 p.m. CT – Proposals due
  • January 21, 2022 – Initial evaluations completed
  • Scheduled demonstrations/presentations to follow
  • Secondary evaluations based on demonstrations/presentations
  • Notice of Intent to Award a Contract issued
  • Contract issued approximately 2-4 wks. after Intent to Award

For more information, and to access the full RFP, please visit:

About the Northern Plains UAS Test Site
The Northern Plains UAS Test Site is one of seven Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) test sites in the nation. The mission of the NPUASTS is to collaborate with FAA and industry partners to develop systems, rules, and procedures to safely integrate unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System without negatively impacting existing general or commercial aviation. NPUASTS is administering Vantis.

About Vantis
Vantis is North Dakota’s statewide unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) network, the first of its kind in the nation. Created by North Dakota with an initial investment in 2019, Vantis provides turnkey support to commercial and public UAS operators through infrastructure and regulatory approvals allowing applications and usability over a variety of industries. Visit for more information.

About Thales
Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global high technology leader investing in digital and “deep tech” innovations –connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum technology – to build a future we can all trust, which is vital to the development of our societies. The company provides solutions, services and products that help its customers –businesses, organisations and states – in the defense, aeronautics, space, transportation and digital identity and security markets to fulfil their critical missions, by placing humans at the heart of the decision-making process.

With 81,000 employees in 68 countries, Thales generated sales of €17 billion in 2020 (on a basis including Gemalto over 12 months).

In the United States, Thales has conducted significant research and development, manufacturing, and service capabilities for more than 100 years. Today, Thales is present in 22 states, operating 46 different facilities and employing nearly 4,000 people. Working closely with U.S. customers and local partners, Thales is able to meet the most complex requirements for every operating environment.