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UAV Workshop No. 1: Strategic Vision for Rural Communities - Unmanned Remote and Autonomous Vehicle Systems




Unmanned vehicles are used extensively across government agencies to achieve varied missions including military, border surveillance, mapping, environmental monitoring, disaster recovery and law enforcement. Much of the core technology used to operate unmanned vehicles is similar and could be more broadly shared across agency programs to reduce costs, increase efficiency and facilitate innovation.

While military and special operations groups have access, funding and operational latitude to utilize unmanned (aerial, terrestrial and maritime) systems, a general lack of consistent information, authorization, collaboration, training and access to standardized, government-centric unmanned vehicle systems has hampered broad, efficient adoption of unmanned technologies within domestic public safety, public service and public service communities of interests (COIs).

In addition, the proliferation of small, inexpensive commercially-available unmanned vehicles has created a confusing and potentially dangerous environment for domestic, specifically state, local and tribal entities who seek to utilize these systems in support of official mission activities.

Therefore, the objective of this effort is to increase information sharing and technology transfer between Federal entities with extensive experience with unmanned vehicle systems and domestic government entities which could benefit greatly from access to the strategic, tactical and practical knowledge base garnered from years of military and related operations.

Activities associated with the program entitled Open Technology Transfer of Unmanned Remote and Autonomous Vehicle Systems (URAVS) in Support of National Defense and Domestic Homeland Security Communities of Interest (COI) are set forth and defined through a Statement of Work (SOW).

Program objectives and activities support mission goals for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) and Cyber Security Division (CSD) which include interest in research, development, evaluation and deployment of existing, evolving and maturing unmanned (aerial, terrestrial and maritime) vehicle system technologies that support homeland security mission objectives of federal, state, local and tribal public safety, public service and public administration communities of interest.

With this DHS S&T and CSD objective in mind, this project will facilitate cross-agency collaboration, development, information and resource sharing to provide access to advanced URAVS technologies, practices, and subject matter expertise to government agencies, with focus on rural and traditionally under-served communities.

In similar manner, program and task activities support mission objectives identified by the Department of Defense, Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) Advanced Analytics Capabilities (AAC) that include furthering the knowledge and understanding of advanced computing, analytics and information management techniques that support national defense and public safety special operations groups and related COIs, such as Border Protection and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA).  Issues related to privacy, secure communications, technology and training standardization and advanced architectures to push decision making out into the field in a safe and compliant manner are inherent to this task.  

Both CTTSO and DHS understand the importance of coordinating in these technical areas and the convergence of related technologies.