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Dstl Announce Swarming Drone Hackathon Challenge

Posted on 18/02/2019

Help to develop new and innovative ways to use unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to assist the emergency services to deal with wildfires.

In a unique partnership between the UK and the US, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in collaboration with the Wright Brothers Institute (WBI), are inviting individuals and teams from across industry, academia and the general public to take part in a special hackathon.

Using a bespoke synthetic environment from AFRL, this hackathon is going to develop new and innovative ways to use unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to assist the emergency services to deal with wildfires. (There will not be any live drone flying as part of the event.)

This pioneering initiative aims to find new ways of using UAS for global search and rescue in defence and the public sector. Scenarios will be run in parallel with the US via a continuous video link with the WBI in Dayton, Ohio who are hosting the same event in the US.

The hackathon will explore innovative ways to plan missions using multiple systems to assist in the identification and prediction of how wildfires will spread and subsequently find preventative solutions, minimise damage and save lives. Teams will use a range of collaboration platforms to explore different fire scenarios with an increasing level of complexity, working with experts from the Fire Service, Dstl and the wider Ministry of Defence. Dstl and AFRL are using this innovative approach to find the best Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning algorithms that embody efficiency and resilience.

The UK and US hackathons take place simultaneously from 29 to 31 March 2019, with the UK event taking place at the ‘Spark’ Facility at Southampton Solent University.

Click here for more technical information and entry requirements. The competition is for teams of up to 8 people (though teams of around 4 are recommended).

Register for this unique event.