DHS Science and Technology Directorate Selects Planck Aerosystems for Small UAS Testing

September 3, 2019

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) awarded Planck Aerosystems, Inc. of San Diego, California, $200,000 to begin testing its autonomous small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) in operational settings, the agency said in a statement. The contract to Planck is part of S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) in which S&T partners with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to accelerate innovative technologies.

PPlanck's portable, ruggedized detection system will provide real-time situational awareness to CBP agents in the field, through a combination of integrated technologies, including full-motion video, automatic target detection and geolocation. Agents will be able to launch and land a sUAS from a moving vehicle. The solution includes fully autonomous navigation, securing mechanism, advanced computer vision and customized communications interfaces, according to the DHS announcement.

“S&T is looking for technologies to enhance the efficacy of CBP patrols while simultaneously increasing the safety of patrolling agents,” said SVIP Managing Director Melissa Oh. “We look forward to the ways Planck will further refine its technology in support of this homeland security mission.”

In this fourth phase of SVIP, Planck will focus on functional usability improvements, such as improving user interfaces and increasing nighttime functionality, DHS stated.

The agency reminded interested companies that participating in the SVIP means eligibility for up to $800,000 of non-dilutive funding over four phases to adapt commercial technologies for homeland security use cases.

For more information on the SVIP, as well as current and future solicitations, visit https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/svip or contact dhs-silicon-valley@hq.dhs.gov.

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