UTM company AirMap has received USD3.3 million from the US Department of Defense “to aid product development and engineering support for integration of sUAS mission planning, post-mission analysis, and unmanned traffic management software.”
The award is part of the Defense Production Act Title III actions “to help sustain and strengthen essential domestic industrial base capabilities and defense-critical workforce in the small unmanned aerial systems, space technology, and shipbuilding industries. These actions will help to retain critical workforce capabilities throughout the disruption caused by COVID-19 and to restore some jobs lost because of the pandemic. The Department remains closely partnered with FEMA and HHS, providing almost USD2.9 billion in life-saving medical services, supplies and equipment to service members and federal agencies in the nation’s whole-of-government approach to the coronavirus pandemic.”
The Department of Defense awarded contracts totalling USD13.4 million to five companies to sustain the capabilities of this critical domestic industrial base. Apart from AirMap, awards were made to:
- ModalAI, located in San Diego, California, received USD3 million 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 USD4 million 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 USD1.5 million to modify its 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 USD1.6 million 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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