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NIST Seeks First Responder UAS Tech via Prize Competition; Dereck Orr Quoted

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Dereck Orr
Dereck Orr Division Chief NIST

The National Institute of Standard and Technology has introduced a three-stage prize competition that seeks to explore unmanned aircraft system technologies for potential use by first responders when they conduct search and rescue operations.

NIST said Wednesday it plans to award more than $700,000 throughout the First Responder UAS Triple Challenge, which is composed of three focus areas and slated to occur through June of next year.

Participants will aim to demonstrate optical sensors for image detection and analysis, broadband data relay in degraded cellular areas and UAS cybersecurity technologies.

"These prize competitions are a way for us to find solvers from around the world to help us with this important research," said Dereck Orr, chief of NIST's public safety communications research division.

“Our goal at PSCR is to accelerate the development and adoption of advanced wireless communications for the public safety community." 

PSCR will host the overall challenge, while Kansas State University and Mississippi State University will jointly manage the program. Interested participants can submit their entries to the competition starting Aug. 2nd.