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Field of View

Not many people get to work their dream job as a college sophomore, but when David Dvorak became part of a research team at the University of North Dakota's Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Engineering lab, he knew that was exactly what he wanted to do as a career.

fieldofviewprintad.jpg"As part of the research team, I developed some expertise in using these specialty multispectral cameras," says Dvorak, now CEO of Field of View, an aerial imaging consulting and technology development firm. "I then got my pilot's license and started this company with some fellow grad students."

Field of View focuses on developing UAS as a tool in aerial agricultural imaging. Surrounded by sugar beet fields and located near the Crystal Sugar plant, using UAS technology in agriculture is a natural match for this Grand Forks-based company. The company is developing a special camera that is designed to detect crop stress from a small unmanned aircraft, aiding farmers in precision agriculture.

"We can fly it over a field and actually map the field and create the map showing where the stress spots are," explains Dvorak. "Aerial maps can be used to find areas where infestation or fungus is growing, and if identified early enough, a portion of the crop can be sprayed instead of spraying the entire field, saving both money and environmental stress."

The North Dakota Department of Commerce has supported Field of View's development through the entrepreneurial competition Innovate ND, which the company won as Idea Champions in 2011. The company also received an Agricultural Products Utilization Commission grant to assist in prototype development. Dvorak attributes part of the success of his business to North Dakota's business climate.

"A business involved in both UAS and agriculture couldn't find a better place than North Dakota," says Dvorak. "One of the most unique aspects of the state is the access to expertise within the state. It's been really beneficial to have such an open environment."

For more information on entrepreneurial programs available from the North Dakota Department of Commerce, visit NDCommerce.com.
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