The U.S. Army awarded six firms transaction agreements to conduct rapid prototyping of drone capabilities that implement advanced situational awareness and “eye in the sky” technologies, DVIDShub reported Monday.
The Army partnered with the Defense Innovation Unit for the Short Range Reconnaissance program to develop portable drones with vertical take-off and landing features suitable for providing situational awareness support to soldiers on the ground. The companies selected to participate the program will further their development of unmanned aerial system capabilities such as daytime and nighttime object detection over the next few months.
Carson Wakefield, assistant product manager for Army program executive office for aviation’s small UAS division, noted that industry engagement enables the Army to identify and assess capability gaps the service may face in the future. The Department of Defense issued a FedBizOpps notice in November 2018 calling for a commercial unmanned aircraft with image and video capture, detection and electro-optical and/or infrared payload capabilities to support the SRR effort.