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Autonomously Locating to Perch and Stare (ALPS)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8651-13-M-0097
Agency Tracking Number: O123-AU3-1018
Amount: $149,889.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: OSD12-AU3
Solicitation Number: 2012.3
Solicitation Year: 2012
Award Year: 2013
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2013-02-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2013-11-15
Small Business Information
6825 Pine Street, Suite 141
Omaha, NE -
United States
DUNS: 949183701
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Amber Fischer
 (808) 748-1825
Business Contact
 Stuart Aldridge
Title: Sr. VP, Res&Dev
Phone: (402) 505-7887
Research Institution

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.

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

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