MITRE Challenge Counter-UAS Team Selects Finalists

McLean, Va. and Bedford, Mass., June 2, 2016—The MITRE Corporation has named the eight finalists who will compete in its Countering Unauthorized Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-UAS) Challenge live flight competition in August. The live flight tests will determine the winners of a $100K prize package.

The finalists are:

  • DroneTracker system from DeDrone, Inc., Kassel, Germany, and San Francisco
  • MESMER system from Department 13 International, Columbia, Maryland
  • ICARUS system from Lockheed Martin, Bethesda, Maryland
  • KNOX system, from MyDefence Communication ApS, Nørresundby, Denmark
  • Skywall 100 system from Open Works Engineering, Riding Mill, England
  • Dronebuster system from Radio Hill Technologies, Portland, Oregon
  • DroneBlocker system from TrustComs/Trifecta Global, Versailles, France, and Beltsville, Maryland
  • DroneRANGER system from Van Cleve & Associates, Alexandria, Virginia.

The MITRE C-UAS Challenge attracted entries from a variety of innovators on how to detect and identify suspicious small drones (under 5 lbs.) and interdict those that present a safety or security threat. We received 42 submissions consisting of white papers that described each participant’s technical approach to detecting and/or neutralizing unauthorized drones in an urban environment.

All of the white papers were reviewed by the core Challenge team and a panel of more than 35 domain and technical experts from MITRE and a number of U.S. federal agencies. Reviewers ranked entries on the basis of the challenge criteria.

MITRE is offering a total prize package of $100,000 as a part of this challenge. The best end-to-end system will win $60,000; $20,000 will be awarded to the best detection system and $20,000 to the best interdiction system. (It is possible for a single participant to win all three prizes.)

The results of this challenge will help government agencies better understand what solutions are possible in this space and inform policy and requirement decisions.

Final Competition Site

The live flight testing will be held August 12-19, 2016 at the Marine Corps Base Quantico, which provides an urban-like setting to run our Red Team scenarios against the competitors. Each challenger will be put through the same scenarios one by one so that each finalist sees the same threat. We have also invited a Duke University team, which received an honorable mention, to participate in this event and test its system against real-world scenarios. While its solution wasn’t mature enough to make the finals, it impressed us for its inventiveness.

The goal of this Challenge is to gain information about a range of possible solutions to the C-UAS problems of many different government organizations. Thus we plan to share technical information about the trends and gaps we observe for the benefit of MITRE’s sponsors and many other stakeholders around the world.

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