MITRE Launches Countering Unauthorized UAS Challenge

McLean, Va. and Bedford, Mass., November 12, 2015—MITRE is offering innovators the chance to solve a national problem, gain recognition for their work, and win up to $100,000.

Every day, more and more commercial operators, government agencies, and hobbyists find new ways to use small, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones. While this exciting new drone market encourages hobbyist use, it has also led the private sector and the government to take notice of potentially nefarious small drone use. We regularly hear news of commercial pilots seeing small drones in their airspace and small drone crashes like those at the U.S. Open and the White House.

MITRE is challenging you to come up with novel ways to detect and identify suspicious small drones (under 5 lbs.) and interdict those that present a safety or security threat.

We are looking for a wide range of ideas, from those that are fully developed and ready to deploy to those that are in early development but show promise. Participation is encouraged by individual entrepreneurs, students, and teams from small and large companies.

Two-Phase Challenge

Phase 1: By February 7, participants must submit white papers explaining their approach to detecting and interdicting unauthorized UAS weighing less than 5 pounds in an urban environment.

Phase 2: The most promising entries will advance to the second phase, in which participants will demonstrate their solutions in a live flight assessment of their systems in a realistic operational environment. This will take place in early Fall 2016.

For guidelines, background information, and an entry form, please visit

UPDATE: MITRE will host a webinar on December 2 to give potential participants the chance to learn more about the Challenge. Visit the MITRE Challenge homepage for details on registration. 

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