The US Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded contracts totalling USD13.4 million to five companies to sustain capabilities in the small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) sector. UTM service provider AirMap is among recipients of funding released under Defense Production Act Title III actions as a result of the CARES Act to strengthen essential domestic industrial base capabilities during COVID-19.
The DPA Title III funds across five companies saved 14 jobs, created 20 new positions, and will support continued advancement of capabilities providing the companies additional paths for recurring revenue. The following is an overview of each company’s award:
- AirMap, located in Santa Monica, California, received $3.3M to aid product development and engineering support for integration of sUAS mission planning, post-mission analysis, and unmanned traffic management software.
- ModalAI, located in San Diego, California, received $3M to develop their next generation U.S.-made flight controller that will enable advanced autonomy including GPS-denied navigation, and all-environment obstacle avoidance.
- Skydio, located in Redwood City, California, received $4M to improve the flight controller hardware/software and data link for their sUAS so that highly capable components can be purchased and used across U.S. Government unmanned systems.
- Graffiti Enterprises, located in Somerset, New Jersey, received $1.5M to modify their commercial data link for DoD’s sUAS use including operation in restricted frequency bands, reduction in the size, weight, and power of the hardware, and software developments to improve security and resiliency of their data link.
- Obsidian Sensors, located in San Diego, California, received $1.6M to build a low-cost, dual thermal sUAS camera that can be mounted onto a stabilization gimbal and then integrated and flown on small, packable, ISR systems.
The five awards were provided under Defense Innovation Unit’s (DIU’s) Commercial Solutions Opening. DIU is leading the Department’s UAS framework development intended to provide secure, trusted sUAS capability to the Department of Defense and other Federal Government stakeholders.
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