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Thursday, June 20th, 2024

DHS S&T seeks information on drone technologies to counter small UAS swarms

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Through a Request for Information (RFI) this week, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) signaled a search for new and emerging counter-unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS) capable of defending against other small UAS (sUAS).

Small UAS are tricky to observe, low-emission and non-emitting technologies, dubbed dark for this reason. S&T wants new means to detect, track, identify, report and counter their capabilities.

“S&T is interested in learning about the availability of C-UAS systems with a technical readiness level of five or greater that can detect, track, identify, and possibly mitigate drones that fly without emitting radio frequency communications,” Shawn McDonald, S&T C-UAS program manager, said. “We’re also very interested in finding technologies that can surgically mitigate a single nefarious drone while in presence of other drones being flown by law enforcement, recreational users or the media.”

Any technologies and solutions put forth will be tested under the auspices of the C-UAS program, which will examine them under both lab and real-world conditions. However, this particular RFI is for a live demonstration event only, tentatively planned to run from July 31 – Aug. 11, 2023. No contract will be awarded based on the RFI alone, but after evaluation, participating organizations will be required to enter into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. government.

Industry, academic institutions, federally funded Research and Development Centers, and other government organizations were invited to apply by May 5, 2023.

After demonstration, a follow-up event could occur in mid-2024, according to S&T.