DHS Awards Funding to sUAS Firms for Border Security
Friday, April 28, 2017 | Comments

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) awarded funding to two Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) firms.

DHS S&T awarded Asymmetric Technologies $199,814.31 to enhance U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) sUAS security. CBP’s use of sUAS enhances mission capabilities and supports U.S. border patrol agents’ activities, including greater overall situational awareness and detection, tracking, apprehension and search-and-rescue operations.

Asymmetric Technologies proposed developing a platform-agnostic secure UAS flight controller (SUFC) and improving the cybersecurity of CBP-deployed commercial systems. The effort aims to reduce the risk of cyberattacks on the department’s sUAS platforms by ensuring secure communications and control mechanisms with operators, using secure surveillance telemetry streams and leveraging onboard hardware security to prevent unauthorized access of data.

DHS also awarded $152,512 to Planck Aerosystems to enhance CBP’s sUAS. The Planck Aerosystems project aims to build a fully autonomous, truck-based, search, surveillance and data delivery platform for DHS applications. The system will be operated from a dash-mounted user interface and deliver real-time video and object detection to drivers and passengers without the need for a dedicated pilot or extensive operator training.

“Mobility in this space is essential,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan. “This effort will enable integration of sUAS capability into Border Patrol’s operations in a variety of missions.”

The projects were awarded under the Silicon Valley Innovation Program’s (SVIP) Other Transaction Solicitation (OTS), aimed at nontraditional performers to offer solutions to threats facing DHS and the homeland security mission.

“Through the Silicon Valley Innovation Program, CBP has the opportunity to address our emerging technology needs, one of which is protecting our sUAS systems against a cyber-attack,” said McAleenan. “Developing technologies and capabilities to secure our hardware and software platforms is critical for deploying sUAS technology.”

Companies participating in the SVIP program are eligible for up to $800,000 in nondilutive funding to adapt commercial technologies for homeland security use cases. This is the fifth award under the “Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Capabilities Solicitation – HSHQDC-16-R-00114,” one of five active calls under the SVIP.




 
 
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