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Autonomously Locating to Perch and Stare (ALPS)

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
21st Century Systems, Incorporated
11640 Arbor St, Ste 201 Omaha, NE -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: Autonomously Locating to Perch and Stare (ALPS)
Agency: DOD
Contract: FA8651-13-M-0097
Award Amount: $149,889.00


Small Unmanned Air Systems (SUAS) are being developed for numerous applications, but size and weight constraints severely limit the capability and endurance of such vehicles. Many missions could be extended by landing for certain periods, entering a low-power state, and re-launching as needed, particularly in urban environments. Technologies have been developed to provide landing gear and flight controls suitable to allow autonomous landing. However, technologies are still needed is the suite of autonomous behaviors necessary to determine when it is appropriate to land, identify a suitable landing zone (LZ), and guide the vehicle to the LZ. While portions of these functions could be performed by a human operator, but it is highly desirable to limit the burden on the operator. 21st Century Systems, Inc. (21CSi) proposes to research and develop ALPS (Autonomously Locating to Perch and Stare), a real-time software solution that autonomously locates potential landing zones from the video feed onboard an SUAS. Based on given operational criteria, such as target surveillance regions and required approach room for landing, ALPS then identifies the optimal site for perching and sufficiently geo-locates the chosen LZ, providing guidance instructions to the flight control software.

Principal Investigator:

Amber Fischer
(808) 748-1825

Business Contact:

Stuart L. Aldridge
Sr. VP, Res&Dev
(402) 505-7887
Small Business Information at Submission:

21st Century Systems, Incorporated
6825 Pine Street, Suite 141 Omaha, NE -

EIN/Tax ID: 133893506
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No