AUVSI and DIU issue guidance on secure drone procurement for agencies and industry

The Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) has published a memo, with validation from the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), with procurement guidance and recommendations for federal government agencies; state, local, and tribal government agencies; public safety agencies; and private industry conducting sensitive missions using drones.

“Both public and private entities face challenges in determining which regulations, standards, or guidance they must or should abide by in their procurement processes,” the memo states. “The lack of clarity has led federal agencies, commercial entities, state and local governments to default to the DIU’s Blue UAS Cleared List as guidance or a standard. However, DIU has always intended for Blue UAS to provide technology solutions for the US Department of Defense, as called for by the policy establishing the Blue UAS List.”

The memo goes on to say that Congress has not mandated or provided funding to DIU to take on the responsibility of assessing all commercial sector UAS and components that could serve the needs of all government agencies. In close collaboration with DIU, AUVSI provides Green UAS as a solution to fill the gaps between the Blue UAS Cleared List and drones that meet non-Department of Defense needs. 

“The Green UAS program mirrors Blue requirements for the certification process and also expands upon it, including a Remote Operations and Connectivity assessment that has become increasingly important across use cases,” the memo states.

The memo follows the passage of the American Security Drone Act into law in December 2023 and publication of a joint memo from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in January 2024 titled Cybersecurity Guidance: Chinese-Manufactured Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

The new AUVSI/DIU memo’s release also follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in April between DIU and AUVSI to create a process for drone component manufacturers holding Green UAS certification to share their data directly with DIU. 

AUVSI expects to announce the certification of additional UAS platforms as Green approved in the coming weeks, which will expand the offerings of vetted UAS that serve sectors in public safety, critical infrastructure, and agriculture.

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