The FirePoint Innovations has announced the final three teams to design an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) concept for the US Army.

A panel of judges selected the Buhler High School Science Club from Wichita; Team Vol Air from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Pistol Pete’s Propulsion Posse from Oklahoma State University for the FirePoint C3 competition.

Now backed with $35,000 funding, the teams will integrate their concepts to build the next-generation drone.

They will leverage Dassault Systemes platform for remote collaboration as well as meet in-person and virtually to coordinate on the project.

FirePoint Technology Collaborations manager Steve Cyrus said: “We are extremely pleased with the calibre of design, engineering and creativity we’ve seen in these submissions.

“Not only were we somewhat surprised to see a high school team performing at this level, but it’s also fascinating how the teams’ concepts already complement one another.”

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The three teams will participate in a series of workshops to build the design concept for prototyping. They can utilise the allocated funds to procure necessary equipment and supplies required to build the UAV.

Cyrus added: “The purpose of the C3 Challenge is to cultivate the next generation of technology and talent.

“This funding will not only help bring these projects to fruition, but also allows us to invest in these programs to build a pipeline of engineering and design talent to meet the army and the aviation industry’s future workforce needs.”

FirePoint is a partnership between Wichita State University and the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center (CCDC AvMC).

The partnership supports key initiatives to drive innovation and collaboration across the key army modernisation priorities.

The C3 competition is funded by CCDC AvMC, with support from Dassault Systemes and America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute.