Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has launched a competition for the development of a semi-autonomous reconnaissance and survey system in the UK.

The competition, which is conducted on behalf of Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), is intended to see the development of a system to help UK troops advance into enemy territory over waters.

DASA stated: “The vision is to ultimately remove personnel from this dangerous and potentially compromising task.

“The concept envisages a semi-autonomous remote system that can collect the required measurements without the need to deploy personnel to the potential crossing location.”

Under Phase 1 of the project, successful submissions will have to indicate a clear plan of a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5 demonstrator.

An outline plan showing the steps taken to advance the technology to Phase 2 must also be indicated.

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Following the Phase 2 TRL 6 demonstration, the technology will be developed into an in-service capability.

Funding for the first phase of the project is expected to be $1.29m (£1.2m). Another $2.69m (£2.5m) is expected to be allocated for the second phase of the project.

Under Phase 1, approximately three to four bids will be funded. The Phase 1 contracts will run for a maximum period of ten months.

The TRL 5 demonstration will approximately run over two weeks at a wet-gap site in the UK.

For this DASA competition, a launch and collaboration event will be held to garner the interest of interested suppliers. Additionally, the event is expected to provide an opportunity for suppliers to network and form collaborations, which will eventually help in the integration of complementary technologies in the future.