UAS & Robotics

Special Operations looking for additional UAS, training

The Special Operations Command is looking to step up its small drone game, recently issuing a solicitation for at least three and as many as 10 drones along with training on operating them.

The solicitation calls for contractors to provide UAS packages of the hand-launched Falcon Unmanned UAS or its equivalent that will include aircraft, control station (computer, remote, software, transmitters, receivers and all other devices to operate the aircraft), a retrieval system and a camera. Contractors will also provide operation training to three to five users for the UAS, which includes operation, assembly and storage of the system. 

Socom, also said that, although the solicitation calls specifically for three UAS, it could purchase any quantity between two and 10 packages. 

UAS to be considered for this contract must meet the following minimum standards:

  • A video/data link range of at least 5 kilometers.
  • Endurance of at least 40 minutes with 5-ounce payload and extra batteries allowing for four flights 4 flights over a four-hour period.
  • A camera payload mounted to the bottom of the UAS by a two-axis gimbal.
  • A camera payload with dimensions no larger than 37 x 42 x 61 millimeters, resolution of approximately 380,000 pixels, auto and manual focus system, and powered by DC 6-12V.
  • The ability to autonomously execute pre-planned routes in 3D space.
  • The ability to fly manually with operator input.
  • An electro-optical camera with recording on ground controller of full motion video.
  • The ability to view full-motion video in near real time, from a ground station and/or controller.
  • Operate at an altitude range up to 12,000 feet at mean sea level.
  • Operate at temperatures from 0 degrees Celsius to 45 degrees Celsius.

The Navy also issued a similar contract solicitation during the winter for UAS training assistance from the private sector.

The response date is Sept. 4, and Socom said it expects to begin the training upon award no later than Sept. 30.   

About the Author

Mark Pomerleau is a former editorial fellow with GCN and Defense Systems.

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