A group of ambitious students and parents from the Yigal Alon elementary school in Hod Hasharon, a community just east of Tel Aviv, launched a meteorological balloon to an altitude of 15 miles last week and collected images and complete flight data.

The Israeli-manufactured Elbit Systems Hermes 450 aircraft took off from North Dakota's Hillsboro airport to start a summer-long project that will take pictures of farmland in the fertile Red River Valley. The test is meant to determine whether the large drone is more efficient than other, smaller drones to capture imagery of agricultural land.