Planck Aerosystems, Inc. has been awarded a contract from the United States Air Force Research Lab for the development of guidance, navigation and control solutions for small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) operating in challenging environments.
The contract was the result of the most recent solicitation from the Air Force’s Open Innovation topics of the competitive awards-based Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR), which is designed to enable small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization.
Under this contract, San Diego-based Planck Aero is developing a visual compass for sUAS in environments where existing commercial offerings may suffer degraded performance. Planck Aero is leveraging existing products and expertise in vision-based navigation to help the sUAS operate safely and reliably without relying solely on GPS.
“Planck has always focused on developing and deploying technologies necessary for unmanned systems to operate in areas that have previously been inaccessible,” said Josh Wells, Planck Aero’s CEO. “Our technology enables drones to operate from moving vehicles and vessels on land or at sea for commercial and defense customers. This project is a natural extension of that technology.”
Planck Aero specializes in “intelligent navigation solutions” for surveillance, reconnaissance, real-time situational awareness, and force protection.”