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Uncrewed Aircraft Systems

First responders often operate in environments that are dangerous and difficult to navigate. The Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) portfolio executes prize challenges that incentivize industry and researchers to develop drone technology to assist first responders in these situations. Through these prize challenges, PSCR drives innovation to improve the tools critical to search and rescue (SAR) operations, situational awareness, and more.

PSCR Webinar: The History & Future of the PSCR Drone Program
PSCR Webinar: The History & Future of the PSCR Drone Program
This webinar, hosted by NIST's PSCR Division, features updates and impacts regarding the PSCR UAS, aka drone, prize challenge program. UAS Prize Challenge Manager Terese Manley and IT Security Specialist Don Harriss discuss the history and impacts of the drone program to date. Additionally, they provide updates on the current UAS Indoor Challenge and discuss the future of the PSCR drone program.

Uncrewed Aircraft Systems Portfolio Mission:

To advance the capabilities of uncrewed aircraft systems and provide safe, effective, and reliable solutions to first responder in their crucial missions by conducting cutting-edge research for emergency response operations.

Uncrewed Aircraft Systems Portfolio Vision:

To lead the innovation of uncrewed aircraft system technology that supports public safety efforts in disasters or emergency situations with degraded or destroyed communications infrastructure.

Featured Project

SAR operations that occur in unfamiliar environments may present danger to first responders. For example, SAR operations that take place in an indoor, constrained environment such as a partial building collapse, require reliable tools to assess risk and necessary resources. At present, cost-effective UAS solutions do not exist that improve real-time information and promote safe, indoor response efforts. PSCR is running the UAS Indoor Prize Challenge to propel advancements in this field.

Learn more about the 2022 First Responder UAS Indoor Challenge

Extramural Research

Quick Resources

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Created February 13, 2023