Individuals and teams from across industry, academia and the general public are being invited to take part in a special swarming drone hackathon to develop new ways to use UAS to deal with wildfires.
In a partnership between the UK and US, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in collaboration with the Wright Brothers Institute (WBI), will invite companies to assist with the initiative, in a bid to find new ways to use UAS for global search and rescue in defence and the public sector.
Using a bespoke synthetic environment from AFRL, the UK and US hackathons will take place simultaneously from 29 to 31 March 2019 via a continuous video link.
The UK event will take place at the ‘Spark’ Facility at Southampton Solent University, with the scenarios run in parallel with the WBI in Dayton, Ohio in the US.
The hackathon will explore innovative ways to plan missions using multiple systems to assist in the identification and prediction of how wildfires will spread and subsequently find preventative solutions, minimise damage and save lives.
Teams will use a range of collaboration platforms to explore different fire scenarios with an increasing level of complexity, working with experts from the Fire Service, Dstl and the wider Ministry of Defence. Dstl and AFRL are using this innovative approach to find the best Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning algorithms that embody efficiency and resilience.
Minister for Defence Procurement, Stuart Andrew said: “Collaboration in innovative research between the UK and US continues to push the boundaries of advanced technology. This hackathon will bring together the best and brightest from academia, industry and the public to discover new ways to utilise life-saving drone technology.”
The winning team from the UK hackathon will be offered the opportunity to present their winning ideas and proposal for further exploitation at the British Embassy in Washington DC.
Costs for travel and accommodation will be provided where appropriate. The winning teams from both the US and UK hackathons will also be recognised at the AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019 unmanned and autonomous systems trade show.