On September 28th and 29th, members of the Vehicle Systems and Control Laboratory participated in the MD5 & Army Futures Command A-Hack-of-the-Drones event where developers were tasked with coming together to explore “non-traditional, innovative methods to counter sUAS.” There were four major areas of focus for the hackathon:
- Detection – sUAS operating in a waypoint mode
- Cyber Effects – undetected exploitation of sUAS systems and operators
- Nullification – sUAS ability to perform a task without destroying the system
- Elimination – eliminate a sUAS threat
We are proud to announce that the “A” Team, a multidisciplinary group of engineers from Texas A&M University and the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), was one of three teams that won the A-Hack-of-the-Drones hackathon and were awarded $15,000 to continue developing their ideas in partnership with MD5.
As the Texas A&M University Aerospace Engineering Department reports in the official announcement by Jan McHarg, found here:
“The “A” Team’s inspiration came from the major concern shared by both the United States and its allies like South Korea that the growing ubiquity of low-cost sUAS allows anyone with one of these devices to enter regions of civil or military interest and wreak havoc in ways unimaginable. Their belief was that it was of prime importance for agencies engaged in national security to be capable of detecting and tracking these devices to better protect the interests of those they serve.”
Three graduate student VSCL team members participated on the “A” Team and contributed their unique skills and understanding of sUAS and machine learning to the development of the “A”-team’s computer vision target-tracking solution. The three team members are:
- Emily Fojtik
- Vinicius G. Goecks
- Garrett Jares
We are very proud of all the VSCL team members who participated in the hackathon and the “A” Team as a whole. We look forward to hearing about the continued development of your solution in the future.