This Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) Phase 2 competition is seeking proposals that can provide a step change in the capability of unmanned autonomous military systems to operate in challenging environments. Successful proposals will aim to deliver a greater level of functionality and/or application than in Phase 1 in a more operational representative environment.
This competition is seeking technologies to broaden the environmental and performance envelope of unmanned autonomous or semi-autonomous systems to include:
- unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV)
- unmanned surface vehicle (USV)
- unmanned ground vehicle (UGV)
- unmanned air system (UAS)
- or hybrid systems
The challenging environmental conditions within scope are:
- high winds (such as gust effects and air turbulence within urban environments)
- heavy precipitation (such as rain, snow, blizzards and ice)
- high dynamic range illumination (including changes to UV and night vision)
- water dynamics (such as currents and visibility)
- temperature (such as temperature extremes and fluctuations between extremes)
- sudden and enduring pressure or acoustic extremes underwater
- intense flashes of light (including infrared and ultraviolet)
- variable salinity
- dense vegetation (including flora and fauna)
- extreme and diverse terrains (such as variability in traction and elevation)
- high-obstacle environments (such as within caves and buildings)
- congested and contested EM environments (including radio frequency (RF) emissions)
- GPS denied environments
Any solutions proposed must not erode the core benefits of the existing or future anticipated unmanned autonomous or semi-autonomous systems which include:
- persistence: unmanned systems should be able to operate independently for long periods and/or over long ranges either singularly or through an exchange or replacement system. Priority will be given to ideas that will have a low impact on size, weight and power (SWAP), for example, novel structural concepts could be combined with sensing and perception.
- combat mass: where the unmanned systems increase the sphere of influence through larger numbers of low cost systems.
- reach: unmanned systems must collectively lead to an increase in effective range of operation which must still be achieved in high risk and physically constrained environments.
Proposals should address one or more of the following challenge areas associated with the unmanned systems and environmental conditions listed above:
- perception and situational awareness
- maintaining effective human-machine partnerships
Find full details on all 3 challenges here.
The total funding available for Phase 2 of this competition is £2M (ex VAT), but individual proposals cannot exceed £400K (ex VAT). If successful, contracts will be awarded for a maximum duration of 12 months.
For this competition DASA are not interested in proposals that:
- constitute consultancy, paper-based studies or literature reviews which just summarise the existing literature without any view of future innovation
- are an identical resubmission of a previous bid to DASA or MOD without modification
- offer demonstrations of off-the-shelf products requiring no experimental development (unless applied in a novel way to the challenge)
- offer no real long-term prospect of integration into defence and/or security capabilities
- offer no real prospect of out-competing existing technological solutions
- relate to the Space domain; we are focussing inside the earth’s atmosphere.
- are for sole use on manned platforms