HomeNewsArticle Display

AFIMSC innovation project receives $3 million award

An unmanned aerial system flies over Camp Bullis, Texas, during a field test Sept. 4. The UAS was equipped with Light Detection and Ranging, multi-spectral sensors and machine-learning algorithms to map, survey and inventory habitat for the golden-cheeked warbler. The field test will help the Air Force determine if UAS technology can characterize habitat better, faster and cheaper than current methods.

An unmanned aerial system flies over Camp Bullis, Texas, during a field test Sept. 4, 2019. The UAS was equipped with Light Detection and Ranging, multi-spectral sensors and machine-learning algorithms to map, survey and inventory habitat for the golden-cheeked warbler. The field test will help the Air Force determine if UAS technology can characterize habitat better, faster and cheaper than current methods. (U.S. Air Force photo by Malcolm McClendon)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) --

The Air Force presented a $3 million Small Business Innovation Research program award to an Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center innovation project March 12.

The project uses drones and machine learning to revolutionize how the Air Force Civil Engineer Center collects data for its environmental mission. The initiative is powered by a partnership between AFIMSC, Air Force Innovation Hub Network (AFWERX) and Aerial Applications, a small business providing drone services and mapping software.

“This speaks to the ability we have to commit and work with a company,” said Dr. Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, in announcing the award. “The stakes couldn’t be higher and (this award) shows the type of agility and flexibility we have in the Air Force.”

The award represents AFIMSC’s first innovation partnership.

“We’ve achieved tremendous success very quickly, which could not have been possible without teammates who work well together,” said Marc Vandeveer, AFIMSC chief innovation officer. The innovation office stood up in November 2018, and the drone project was one of the first innovation initiatives the office pursued.

The SBIR award is part of the dual-use program encouraging small businesses to complete innovative federal research and development with the goal of creating scalable solutions with potential to benefit both the government and private industry. The competitive, awards-based program also provides the incentive to profit from commercialization.

The award, presented to Aerial Applications, brings the amount of government investments to $6 million over four years. Aerial Applications also secured $50 million in funding from industry and venture capitalists, raising the total investment to $56 million.

“The fact that this project won the award is a testament to the Air Force’s renewed focus on innovation and moving our capabilities forward with strong commercial partnerships and powerful execution of our dollars,” said Emilie Miller, a project manager in the AFIMSC Innovation Office.

AFIMSC and Aerial Applications began field testing the project last fall, flying an unmanned aerial system equipped with light detection and ranging, multi-spectral sensors and machine-learning algorithms to map, survey and inventory habitat for the golden-cheeked warbler at Camp Bullis, Texas.

Additional field tests at Camp Bullis are planned for late March. The initial project will expand to include other species and will be applied to more than 20 different uses in at least 12 locations, according to Vandeveer.

With the SBIR award and additional funding, Miller believes the technology will eventually be applied to many installation and mission support requirements outside of environmental management.

“Through our strategic partnership with Aerial Applications and their capabilities, we’re looking forward to proving this technology’s value and scalability across the Air Force,” she said. “We’re so excited. We have shown we can accomplish amazing things through perseverance, go-getter attitudes and making connections to find the right path forward.”

Engage

Twitter
RT @173rdFW: "I may have lost everything, but thanks to the support we’ve found here, I’m going to be back on my feet inside of a few weeks…
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr & @cmsaf_official sat down and discussed how the Air Force will continue exempting Airmen from PT t… https://t.co/bWVig9fSOW
Twitter
SrA Mark Gonzalez describes how his job enables the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber to support the Bomber Task Force depl… https://t.co/sceKCtM3Pz
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Our Airmen come from all walks of life — and we are stronger for it. Staff Sgt. Kalinin, 56th Force Support Squadron ALS…
Twitter
“It's critical to have that diversity in the Air Force that we have today because it is truly through that diversit… https://t.co/RIDQDjdlCr
Twitter
F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron @EielsonAirForce takeoff in support of exercise Valia… https://t.co/cf0raGgEUD
Twitter
RT @USAF_ACC: "This test, and others like it, can shape the future of the MQ-9, as we continue to increase its relevance in great power com…
Twitter
"We cannot rest on our laurels. It is all about the people, folks, and they will guarantee our readiness, and are f… https://t.co/BsNDUSw0wE
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: USAFCENT Airmen and coalition partners are executing missions of national, regional and global importance and Exercise Desert…
Twitter
In March 2019, @AFSpecOpsCmd received its first Block 30 AC-130J Ghostrider gunship. Referred to as “the ultimate b… https://t.co/V9FoDThYRQ
Twitter
As the Joint Force transitioned from a Continuous Bomber Presence posture in the Indo-Pacific theater to a Dynamic… https://t.co/u8JlA3GaeF
Twitter
As of August 2020, The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, aka Hurricane Hunters, has flown 64 missions into 12 s… https://t.co/CFtHJ8HDXG
Twitter
.@AFGlobalStrike tackled B-1B readiness issues head-on by readying the fleet with a roadmap to recovery over a 2-yr… https://t.co/dEfZemGKbb
Twitter
As we celebrate 73 years of the U.S. Air Force, we remember the heroes we are proud to have served with. Today we… https://t.co/3pdHX3DvIn
Twitter
Flying, fighting and winning since 1947. #USAF73 https://t.co/qM28ykPZwt
Twitter
RT @AF_Academy: Proud to fly the @usairforce flag today and every day! Happy 73rd Birthday! #YourAcademy #FamilyWeek https://t.co/hOIs1ghq7M
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Today we honor the #heroes who knew the worst of war and the agony of captivity - those who fought for and lost their fre…
Twitter
RT @ArmyMateriel: Join us in wishing a Happy Birthday to our brothers and sisters in the United States Air Force! #DYK The Air Force was…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,280,541
Follow Us