As the people living along the Red River are watching the water's progression on the ground, the University of North Dakota's aerospace program is focused on flood waters from above.
UND is deploying planes from its Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or UAS, to take pictures of this year's spring flood. The "Scan Eagle" airplanes are equipped with cameras and operated by pilots located back at the base.
The effort is part of research into the effectiveness of using the planes in U.S. airspace.
Mark Askelson is principal investigator on the research project with the UAS Research Center at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. He told All Things Considered that calling the aircraft "unmanned" is not quite accurate.