NIST Holds Competition for Innovators to Create a Drone Prototype for First Responders

Nov 9, 2020


The National Institute for Science and Technology (NIST) is asking innovators to take part in its First Responder Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Endurance Challenge. From December 4-18, the First Responder UAS Endurance Challenge will provide an additional entry point for all those eligible with working UAS prototypes to join the competition as walk-ons and the opportunity to compete for up to $302,000 in prizes. The results of the First Responder UAS Endurance Challenge are intended to support the public safety community and its stakeholders.


The Challenge is meant to address real-life problems facing today's first responders. The solutions to these problems can be met with the use of UAS technology, but only if the technology is advanced enough to carry out the necessary mission.


“The purpose of this Challenge is to advance UAS technologies by building and flying drones designed to support first responders. One of the barriers for the public safety community is having access to drones that can fly for long periods of time, ninety minutes or greater, while carrying a heavy payload. Emergency responders can accomplish their mission more efficiently and effectively if the drone flight time for a known payload is maximized. Since the payload capacity, energy source, flight characteristics, and flight time are linked together through design trade-offs, PSCR is exploring ways to optimize drones for increased flight endurance while making it more efficient and flexible for use by public safety.”


To apply to join the challenge, visit:


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