First Responder UAS 3D Mapping Challenge (UAS 5.0)

Use your 3D mapping and UAS expertise to support first responders' indoor operations.

Other Funding
  • Program Type
    Other Funding
  • Funding Award
  • Submission Deadline
    Phase 1: Concept Paper deadline is June 16, 2023
  • Program Duration
    Phase 2 : Walk-on competitor deadline is January 19, 2024
  • Eligibilty Requirements (Y/N)

As a firefighter, the need to investigate accidents and prepare for rescues requires collecting visual and location data about a structurally compromised facility and people in the facility without entering it. In this situation, having real-time data (more than just a live video feed) is imperative to gain situational awareness and to plan for the deployment of critical resources to achieve the mission objectives. Incident Commanders operating in this scenario need to prioritize critical resources and make decisions for a timely response. In addition to precisely locating people in the facility, a real-time 3D map could help identify obstacles and other hazardous conditions around the people that would be important for the planning of ingress and egress routes. These conditions could include smoke, a partially collapsed structure, limited or no lighting, and a GPS-denied infrastructure.

Challenge Goals and Objectives

The goal of this challenge is for contestants to design, build, and operate a cost-effective UAS solution with one or more autonomous or semi-autonomous uncrewed aerial vehicles, and with or without the support of ground robotic vehicles. Successful solutions will provide an accurate, high-quality 3D map in real-time to locate missing person(s) and life-threatening obstacles in an indoor, low-light, GPS-denied, or otherwise constrained environment using a technological mapping method (e.g., simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM)). This UAS prototype solution must be easy to operate, durable, and provide first responders with a high-quality 3D digital map in real-time to detect human life, obstacles, and hazardous objects in the environment.

The following are the challenge’s primary objectives:

    ● Design, build, test, and demonstrate UAS solutions that address the primary need associated with flying a small UAS, or a set of UAS, and optional ground vehicles in an indoor, constrained environment.
    ● Develop innovative solutions that enhance the first responder’s ability to gain real-time situational awareness of the indoor environment.
    ● Develop UAS solutions that increase innovation in the UAS commercial market supporting national security as defined in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020, including critical components outlined in NDAA Section 848.

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.