Sunday, June 23, 2024

STRIKEWERX hosts workshop for industry and academia to source ideas on countering swarming drones

by BIZ Magazine

STRIKEWERX and Air Force Global Strike Command recently hosted nearly 60 companies on the cutting edge of unmanned aerial systems to source ideas on countering swarming drones.

STRIKEWERX, the command’s innovation hub, and the AFGSC Office of the Chief Scientist have been researching the latest technology for the challenge of defending mobile transport systems against swarming, autonomous, small, unmanned aircraft systems. 

“This workshop was a great first step towards collaborating with industry to uncover the latest technology available to us for meeting the command’s counter small UAS need,” said AFGSC Chief Scientist Dr. Donna Senft.

A special workshop at the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City, Louisiana, featured business and academia collaborating with AFGSC subject matter experts to define the problem and shape the potential solutions.

“The challenge definition workshop is all about market research for our government partners,” said Russ Mathers, STRIKEWERX director. “We are so thankful to the dozens of industry members who took time out of their day-to-day workweek to spend the time with us exploring ideas and technologies for countering swarming UAS.”

Stephan Atrice, aerospace strategy solutions lead for Epirus, attended the workshop. He mentioned breaking down what a possible solution should look like was particularly enjoyable, as he came away with an understanding of how the government views the problem.

Shea Fehrenbach, program manager for the defense security group at Oklahoma State University, said his time at the workshop was a unique opportunity to interface with industry and government end-users: “In academia we spend a lot of time sitting back, taking in knowledge and it’s good to have an opportunity to see the latest developments from the industry side of things.”

Now, STRIKEWERX will open an eight-week period for industry, small business, solopreneurs and academia to submit their solutions for this challenge, from which AFGSC evaluators will then identify the top submissions. An in-person showcase of those submissions will be held at the CIC for AFGSC evaluators to identify the best ideas for further development into prototypes — if the prototypes prove beneficial, they could be scaled for operational use. 

For more information on the solution period, follow STRIKEWERX’s LinkedIn page here: https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/strikewerx-usaf/.

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