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U.S. Army partners with small businesses to develop innovations for aviation systems

The U.S. Army just announced over $5M in new funding contracts with three small businesses to transition their innovative solutions in wind measurement systems, which have the potential to change the future of Army aviation weapon systems.

The companies will each receive up to $1.7M for an 18-month period through the Army Applied Small Business Innovation Research Program, which releases contract opportunities on an ad-hoc, rolling basis for U.S.-based small companies to tackle some of the Army’s most critical priorities.

“We are excited to see small businesses advancing target engagement capabilities in the complex, dynamic environment of tactical Army aviation,” said Charles San Filippo, test and evaluation advisor for the Army’s Future Vertical Lift Cross Functional Team. “As part of an effective, mature, and affordable fire control solution for Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft, or FARA, and Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft, or FLRAA, this holistic wind measurement capability will enhance Soldier survivability and lethality against near-peer threats.”

Congratulations to the following companies on their Direct to Phase II awards:

  • Vadum (Raleigh, North Carolina) for the Wind Measurement and Correction for Aviation Targeting
  • XeroWind LLC (Falls Church, Virginia) for the Twi Dimensional Path-Integrated Laser Wind Measurement System
  • Arete Associates (Northridge, California) for the Aviation Targeting Wind Sensor

“If a company is already established with direct customers and commercial sales, and they have a product that’s useful for the U.S. Soldier, they can skip Phase I and submit a Direct to Phase II proposal,” said Dr. Matt Willis, Director, Army Prize Competitions and Army Applied SBIR Program, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology (DASA (R&T)). “This puts them even closer toward turning over a new technology to the Army that has the potential to be game-changing.”

The Army Applied SBIR Program aims to help small businesses overcome the inherent challenges they face when engaging in government research and development compared to their larger counterparts. The awards offer a unique opportunity for small businesses to interact with the Army and technical subject matter experts, as well as receive feedback on their technology maturation.

“This effort will show that small business innovation, combined with the efforts of proven industry partners, can provide the concentration of resources needed for state-of-the-art development to meet the Army’s mission and make innovative advances for multi-domain operations,” San Filippo said.

The Army Applied SBIR Program recently announced three new contract opportunities in artificial intelligence and machine learning and autonomy. Qualified small businesses can submit proposals through March 3 at noon, EST. Full proposal packages must be submitted through the DSIP Portal https://www.dodsbirsttr.mil/submissions/login]. Additional information, including eligibility information and how to apply, can be found on the Army SBIR|STTR website [https://www.armysbir.army.mil/topics/].

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