DoD Announces $13.4 million DPA Title III Investments in U.S. Small Unmanned Aerial System Industrial Base
As part of the national response to COVID-19, and to support the domestic small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) industrial base, the Department of Defense awarded contracts totaling $13.4M to five companies to sustain the capabilities of this critical domestic industrial base. Using funds authorized and appropriated under the CARES Act, these DPA Title III investments will further enhance the U.S. warfighter’s situational awareness, improve human-machine teaming, and provide engineering support for aiding the integration of sUAS capabilities into DoD programs.
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.