MITRE Names C-UAS Challenge Winners

UAS in flight.

McLean, Va., Sept. 8, 2016—The MITRE Corporation announced the winners of its Countering Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-UAS) Challenge on September 8.

Eight finalists competed in one or more of three categories: Detection and Determination, Interdiction, and End to End System. The winners are:

  • Best Detection and Determination System and Best End-to-End System: DroneRANGER, Van Cleve and Associates, Alexandria, VA (awarded a total of $80,000).
  • Best Interdiction System, SkyWall 100, Open Works Engineering, Riding Mill, England (awarded $20,000).

The MITRE C-UAS Challenge asked innovators from around the world to identify solutions that could: 1) detect small drones (under 5 lbs.) during flight and determine which ones were threats based on a geographic location and flight trajectory, and 2) interdict small UAS that were perceived as threats by forcing them to be recovered intact in a safe area.

The live flight evaluation took place August 10-18 at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia. The MITRE Challenge Team chose the finalists from among 42 applicants, representing eight countries. One purpose of the challenge was to evaluate a range of technology and test the different solutions against the same scenarios.

For example, the SkyWall 100 system consists of a compressed air powered launcher and an intelligent projectile. The launcher is equipped with a SmartScope that uses computerized targeting while the projectile is programmed to deploy a net at precisely the right time to entangle a drone. Immediately after the net is deployed, a parachute is released that controls the descent of the captured drone.

In contrast, DroneRANGER's key components are a 360° scanning radar and a positioning system on which images (visual and thermal) and radio frequency (RF) jammers are integrated. The radar detects the drones and the RF jammers block radio frequencies, thus neutralizing the drones.

The other finalists were:

  • DroneTracker, DeDrone, Inc., Kassel, Germany, and San Francisco
  • Dronebuster, Radio Hill Technologies, Portland, Oregon
  • ICARUS System, Lockheed Martin, Bethesda, Maryland
  • DroneBlocker, TrustComs/Trifecta Global, Versailles, France, and Beltsville, Maryland
  • KNOX System, MyDefense Communications, Sundby, Denmark
  • MESMER System, Department 13 International, Columbia, Maryland

The MITRE Challenge Team also gave an Honorable Mention to a team from Duke University for its innovative technology.

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Betsy Yates
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