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DoD offers $110K in startup contest for GNSS-denied navigation technologies

February 5, 2018  - By

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Israel’s Ministry of Defense are joining forces for the third time in setting up a startup competition to tap into new technologies to beat terrorism. More than $200,000 in prizes will be awarded to the most promising startups.

“As terrorists become ever more sophisticated, technological innovations become an increasingly critical component of detecting and defeating them,” challenge organizers said.

The challenge is is divided into two tracks.

  • The Urban Navigation Technologies Challenge focuses on navigating without GPS — an increasingly important issue for special forces, law enforcement and other anti-terrorism professionals who need to operate indoors or in environments where GPS is not available. (See more below.)
  • The General Technologies Challenge includes surveillance, social media analytics, image and video, cybersecurity, drones, robotics, personal protection, biometrics, reconnaissance, and detection of explosives or water contamination.

Both tracks are open to all startups, entrepreneurs, and research groups worldwide, with a deadline of March 9. Entries will be reviewed by an international panel of judges from the DoD, Israel Defense and other organizations.

The most promising startups will be invited to present at the Combating Terrorism Technology Conference in Tel Aviv University on June 17.

Navigation Challenge

Entries in Urban Navigation Challenge might include location services based on beacons, technologies incorporating pre-loaded maps, technologies that estimate a user’s position via dead-reckoning or step-counting, and any other technology for navigating or positioning with no GPS.

Technologies may include: laser, inertial, vision, simultaneous localization and mapping, dead reckoning, pre-installed beacons or other infrastructure, pre-loaded maps, Wi-Fi, cellular or any other solution that operates in a GNSS-denied environment.

The winning startup will receive a $100,000 prize and a runner-up receives $10,000.

In addition, Navigation Challenge finalists will demonstrate their technologies in a dedicated urban navigation test facility in Israel.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.