By Kalwinder Kaur
The DARPA's UAVForge was carried out to resolve the development capability of a loosely-connected community of UAV enthusiasts for designing militarily relevant back-pack portable UAV with specific capabilities.
UAVForge concluded recently with nine finalist teams demonstrating air vehicles in a fly-off event at Ft. Stewart, Ga
Based on this crowdsourcing approach that focuses on designing, fabricating and producing an advanced small unmanned air vehicle (UAV), this initiative enables improving innovation and creativity by reducing barriers to entry and creating more variety of contributors.
Hosted by UAVForge.net, this year-long competition includes over 140 teams and 3,500 individual participants from 153 countries and territories. UAVForge recently came to an end with nine finalist teams that demonstrated air vehicles in a fly-off event that took place at Ft. Stewart, Ga. Hosted on a training site, the fly-off scenario was a simulated military perch-and-stare reconnaissance mission that entails vertical take-off, followed by navigation to an area away from the take-off location and its line of sight. It then captures video after landing on the structure and then returns to the starting point. Although some teams were successful in reaching the observation area, no one achieved the mission by landing on a structure.
With potential efficiency, the persistent, beyond-line-of-sight, soldier-portable perch and stare intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) serves to be the ideal mission area of interest despite its operational complexity and asset cost.
According to DARPA program manager, Jim McCormick, the teams imparted inventive features, innovation, and passion to the competition. The competition was exceptionally vibrant with excellent interaction between the teams.
As the teams failed to accomplish the fly-off event, they will not receive the $100,000 prize. A design will not be created for further testing in a military exercise as predicted.