By Kalwinder Kaur
DARPA’s UAVForge, a crowdsourcing competition that targets designing and developing an advanced small unmanned air vehicle (UAV), was conducted to resolve the manufacturing potential of UAV innovators to develop militarily relevant back-pack portable UAV with special features.
PERCH AND STARE UAV
Based on crowdsourcing design approach, this initiative reduces the barriers to entry and enhances the number and variety of contributors, thereby promoting innovation.
Over 140 teams and 3,500 individuals from 153 countries and territories took part on UAVForge.net, the collaboration portal that conducts the year-long competition. UAVForge recently came to an end with nine finalist teams that demonstrated air vehicles in a fly-off event at Ft. Stewart, Ga. Hosted on a training site, the fly-off scenario includes a simulated military perch-and-stare reconnaissance mission that needs vertical take-off, followed by navigation to an area away from the line of sight from the take-off location. It returns back to the starting point after landing on a structure and achieving video capture. The teams were able to arrive at the observation area, but failed to land on a structure and accomplish the mission.
Consistent, beyond-line-of-sight, soldier-portable perch and stare intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) is a major mission specific area representing potential capability, where deployment complexity and asset cost remain as barriers.
As the fly-off event was not achieved, the $100,000 prize will not be presented, and a design will not be created for additional testing in a military exercise as predicted.