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Mickelsen Research Complex

Once complete, the Stanley R. Mickelsen SAFEGUARD Complex will become the Mickelsen Research Complex, a premier research and development facility for unmanned aerial systems. Below is the master plan for the MRC, which was developed by URS Corporation.

Plans for UAS - Plans for Historic Interpretation - Plans for Education and Training

To see a map that shows the faclities/operations area in detail please scoll to the bottom of the page, or click here.

For a larger PDF version of the above map please click here.

Plans for UAS

Vision for UAS - With the expanding use of UAS in DoD operations and use in newly emerging civil and commercial applications, the timing is excellent for the development of a UAS research and development facility in northeastern North Dakota. By utilizing an existing and historic site a unique research and development experience will be created for world class clients

UAS Virtual Global Laboratory - When complete, the Mickelsen Research Complex will become a major enabler and expander of UAS businesses worldwide. Careful planning and marketing will result in significant expansion of UAS operations in three to five years. Broadband communications, including broadband internet services, will make this new laboratory available to experimenters, engineers and scientists anywhere on the planet, thereby creating a virtual global laboratory

UAS One Stop Shopping - The Mickelsen Research Complex (MRC) will evolve into a dedicated, “one-stop-shopping” UAS Research Test Bed with services, technical expertise and facilities for continuous UAS operations. The Mickelsen Research Complex offers a unique strategic advantage. Unlike other current or potential UAS Research Test Beds, MRC could provide 24/7 unencumbered access to airspace while not significantly impacting the safety or environment of nearby. It is the ideal flight test laboratory to host a wide variety of air operations on a non-interference basis with other users of the NAS.

UAS Supply Chain - The Mickelsen Research Complex (MRC) has the potential to provide access and services for the entire UAS supply chain. With the buildout of the MRC, a significant portion of the supply chain will be established, including education, research, operations, training, facilities, and services. With access to all aspects of UAS technology and its supply chain, MRC UAS businesses and customers will be well-positioned to collaborate, work out issues, and troubleshoot and refine business models real-time, significantly increasing their return on investment and the progress of the UAS industry at large.

Plans for Historic Interpretation

The SRMSC has a number of historic assets pertaining to the cold war era of our nation’s history.

The former Sentry building just outside of the tactical area on the MSR site is recommended to house a future Interpretive Center. Plans are also under discussion to develop an interpretive walk around the tactical area of the MSR site. Highlights of the walking may include the MSR pyramid,  Spartan and Sprint Missile Silos in the co-located missile field,  and missile bunkers.

The Interpretive Center building will be a tourist friendly educational experience, establishing a docent program, and providing the appropriate signage to direct tourists across the various locations so they can easily identify the historical assets.

A gift shop is also planned for the site and will be housed in the Interpretive Center. 

To see more regarding plans for historic interpretation, please click here.

Plans for Education and Training

There are a wide range of opportunities and uses identified for the site related to unconventional training. Several military, government and civil organizations have expressed an interest in urban warfare training and other military training. The unconventional training may require some separation to lessen its impact on other tenants. Initial recommendations include holding these activities at the RSL sites. 

There is also interest in using the MSR site to conduct specialized job training in the fields of wind energy and precision agriculture. CCJDA and site designers will need to be flexible and creative in developing a lab environment capable of accommodating tenants with very different needs.  Other proposed educational uses include the following:

  • University courses under the UND UAS Aerospace program
  • Other university partnerships to be determined
  • Community college courses and job training
    • UAS technology
    • Wind energy technology
    • Agriculture
    • Border Patrol 
  • Middle school and high school science and technology camp
  • Hosting UAS industry/academic symposia and seminars.

For a larger PDF version of the above map please click here.


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