DIU Seeks Commercial Solutions For sUAS To Operate Amid Electromagnetic Interference – March 13

By Rich Abott | March 21, 2024
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Eyeing lessons learned from ongoing global conflicts, the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) this week issued a solicitation for commercial solutions that allow small uncrewed aerial systems (sUAS) and other small unmanned systems (UxS) to communicate in contested electromagnetic spectrum environments.

Solutions need to be able to contend with jamming, interference, spoofing, and other electromagnetic interference, the Defense Department unit says in the March 11 posting on its website. DIU is encouraging multiple communications pathways such as point-to-point and/or mesh networking.

“The DoD cannot expect to have unhindered freedom of maneuver in the electromagnetic spectrum,” DIU says. “We must expect an environment with challenges due to jamming, interference, or other factors, and be able to successfully operate sUAS and other UxS within it.”

In the week of March 11, The New York Times reported that Russian forces are increasingly able to electronically jam Ukrainian drones, limiting what has been an important tool for Ukraine, sUAS equipped with munitions.

The DIU solicitation is aimed at Group 1 and 2 UAS, which have maximum gross take-off weights up to 20 and 55 pounds respectively. Responses are due by March 25 and solutions must be ready to test within six to nine months.

A version of this story originally appeared in affiliate publication Defense Daily.

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