CBP, DHS S&T Award $152K to San Diego Start-Up to Improve Small Unmanned Aircraft System Security

WASHINGTON – April 28, 2017– The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced today a $152,512 award to Planck Aerosystems Inc., to enhance U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS).  CBP’s use of sUAS enhances mission capabilities and supports U.S. Border Patrol agents’ activities, including greater overall situational awareness and detection, tracking, apprehension, and search and rescue operations. The technology aims to expand these capabilities, adding mobility and fully autonomous platforms to existing sUAS systems.

“Mobility in this space is essential,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan. “This effort will enable integration of sUAS capability into Border Patrol’s operations in a variety of missions.”

The Planck Aerosystems project, “Fully Autonomous sUAS and User Interface for Deployed Mobile Users,” aims to build a fully autonomous, truck-based, search, surveillance, and data delivery platform for DHS applications. The system will be operated from a dash-mounted user interface and deliver real-time video and object detection to drivers and passengers—without the need for a dedicated pilot or extensive operator training.

This project is awarded under the Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) Other Transaction Solicitation (OTS) aimed at non-traditional performers to offer solutions to some of the most challenging threats facing DHS and the homeland security mission.  Companies participating in the SVIP program are eligible for up to $800,000 in non-dilutive funding to adapt commercial technologies for homeland security use cases.  This project is awarded under the Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Capabilities Solicitation – HSHQDC-16-R-00114, one of five active calls under the SVIP.

“It is great to see CBP and SVIP working in tandem to find novel operational solutions,” said Acting DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Robert Griffin. “Adding capabilities to support the mission is what this initiative is all about.”

For more information on current and future OTS solicitations visit http://scitech.dhs.gov/hsip or contact dhs-silicon-valley@hq.dhs.gov.