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Inexpensive Long Endurance Drone

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: HR001123C0049
Agency Tracking Number: D2-2740
Amount: $1,499,939.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: HR001121S0007-23
Solicitation Number: HR001121S0007.I
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-02-03
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2025-02-02
Small Business Information
8280 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive Suite 200
Fairfax, VA 22031-1111
United States
DUNS: 078504477
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 John Asplund
 (805) 234-2250
Business Contact
 Russell Garing
Phone: (703) 454-0705
Research Institution

Future warfare is heading in the direction of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) swarms numbering into the thousands of units, which will enable them to act as a force multiplier and expand capability. It is cost prohibitive to employ today’s drones in a large quantity and single-use operations, and so a new generation of drones needs to be designed in a cost-focused approach that still meets required performance and mission objectives. Since the intent is not to recover a drone, there is a need to design and develop an expendable, low-cost, long-endurance, payload-carrying drone that is flexible enough to adapt to a variety of environments and operational scenarios.  Additionally, the launch platform needs to be scalable for deploying large numbers of drones within a time span of minutes while requiring minimal operator input, setup, and physical footprint. DYZNE Technologies conducted a Phase I trade study that involved analyzing a large trade space of both vehicle design concepts and launcher systems that could meet or exceed desired capabilities of the ILED program. DZYNE used its extensive experience in UAS engineering and development to comprehensively evaluate the complex interplay of system capability, material cost, available battery technology, manufacturing techniques, operator skill, and overall system cost. The output of this trade study was the recommended approach of a simplified tube launch design, which DZYNE is uniquely suited to perform the detailed engineering and manufacturing based on its extensive experience in developing ground-based tube-launched systems. Lessons learned from prior programs will be applied to the design, program planning, cost and schedule. Being able to apply these lessons-learned up front will allow the company to identify and reduce risk to development and test. The ILED simplified tube-launched sUAS would be an extension of the knowledge and expertise honed over years of designing tube launched systems. The proposed design would allow the aerial vehicle to be both stored and pneumatically launched from an expendable cannister and contain a number of innovative features to maximize performance while keeping system costs low. The combined storage and launch canister characteristic length and diameter were selected to maximize vehicle performance versus cost, with the minimal number of simplified folding joints for the wing and tail surfaces. DYZNE plans to improve the system architecture in Phase ll to allow rapid deployment and integration with the warfighter.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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