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Monday, October 3, 2022

CBP, DHS S&T Give Awards to Start-Up Firms to Improve Small Unmanned Aircraft System Security

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded $152,512 to Planck Aerosystems Inc., and $199,814.31 to Asymmetric Technologies, LLC, to enhance Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) security.

CBP’s use of sUAS enhances mission capabilities and supports 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, DHS said.

“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.”

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.”

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.

Asymmetric Technologies, a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business, proposes to develop a platform-agnostic Secure UAS Flight Controller (SUFC)and improve the cybersecurity of CBP-deployed commercial systems. The effort aims to reduce the risk of cyberattacks on the department’s sUAS platforms by ensuring secure communication and control mechanisms with operators, utilizing secure surveillance telemetry streams and leveraging on-board hardware security to prevent unauthorized access of data.

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

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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