First Responder UAS Triple Challenge 3.1: FastFind - UAS Search Optimized

Enhancing search & rescue via improved UAS image detection & navigation techniques

Other Funding
  • Program Type
    Other Funding
  • Funding Award
  • Submission Deadline
    Stage 2b: Video Evaluation submissions due; walk-on submissions due May 6, 2022
  • Program Duration
    Three Stage Challenge
  • Eligibilty Requirements (Y/N)

Join us for this exciting Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) prize competition using your ingenuity and hardware build expertise to create a concept for a UAS prototype. The top competitors of the challenge will compete for up to $260,000! The results of the FastFind – UAS Search Optimized Challenge (FastFind Challenge) will support the public safety community and its stakeholders.

UAS Triple Challenge 3.1 & 3.2 Launch Webinar


The purpose of this Challenge is to advance UAS technologies by building and flying a UAS designed to support first responder search and rescue (SAR) operations. Specifically, this challenge is looking at enabling law enforcement as well as other emergency services to search a heavily forested area for missing persons using a UAS. The goal of this challenge is for Contestants to design, build, and fly a complete UAS solution that helps a SAR team locate multiple missing persons in a thick forested area by improving image detection and enhancing navigation techniques to ‘close the distance’ more quickly.


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Public Safety Communications Research Division (PSCR), in conjunction with Mississippi State University and Kansas State University, is hosting a 3-stage challenge, with a first place prize of $40,000 in the final event and prize awards totaling up to $260,000 for top designs throughout the FastFind Challenge. PSCR’s Open Innovation team engages public safety entities, government, academia, and industry to identify innovation opportunities and foster technology advancements for public safety communications through Prize Competitions and Challenges.

Future Phases

Check out an overview of each competition phase below - complete rules for each phase will be released as the competition progresses.


Let’s Get Started.

To apply or join the program, please submit an application.