Aerial Applications (www.aerialapplications.com), a software company specializing in GPU-accelerated data processing of drone imagery to make maps, has been awarded the US Air Force Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II B Strategic Fund Increase Pilot Program, the company said.
The program brings together commitment from both the public and private sectors to help advance the US National Strategic Science and Technology goals through strategic funding. The program involves a commitment from the Verizon 5G First Responder Lab for continued product development and integration over the program´s 4-year period.
The announcement was made during the Virtual Spark Collider, Pitch Bowl, and STRATFI Showcase, in lieu of South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, by Dr. Will Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. Known as a center of rapidly growing technology and innovation, Austin has been expanding its footprint with the Department of Defense as the new home of the Army Futures Command and is one of the three Air Force AFWERX Innovation Hubs along with Washington D.C. and Las Vegas.
The program gives Aerial Applications 4 years and USD 6 Million of R&D funding to help advance the development of environmental monitoring bolstered by artificial intelligence to support an Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center innovation initiative. Their initial project, mapping the habitat of the endangered golden-cheeked warbler at Camp Bullis in San Antonio, Texas, will be expanded significantly to include other species and applied to 20+ different use cases in at least 12 locations.
Using unmanned aerial vehicles, teams can rapidly create environmental maps that help achieve compliance with Department of Interior requirements. This transition from a manual inventory process to an automated one, will save an estimated USD 8-16 million per year for the Department of Defense.
Aerial Applications provides web-based data management, processing, and Al image analysis software as a service (SaaS) for drone-enabled enterprises, using advanced acquisition and geospatial techniques to collect and refine big data.
Verizon´s 5G Labs are open for collaboration in New York City, Washington D.C., Cambridge (MA), Los Angeles and Palo Alto (CA).
Established in 2017 by the Secretary of the Air Force and reporting to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, AFWERX is a catalyst for agile Air Force engagement across industry, academia and non-traditional contributors to create transformative opportunities and foster an Air Force culture of innovation. The ultimate aim is to solve problems and enhance the effectiveness of the Air Force.
The Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center serves as the single intermediate-level headquarters staff supporting AF-wide installation and expeditionary support activities. AFIMSC´s mission is to deliver globally integrated installation and mission support to enhance warfighter readiness and lethality for America´s Air and Space Forces.