USAF Funds Development of Rugged Backpack Drone & Fire Spotting Software

Under contract with the USAF, WingXpand will ruggedize its 7ft backpackable aircraft and develop AI software that supports the early detection and mitigation of wildfires By Caroline Rees / 21 Jun 2023
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WingXpand has been awarded a seven-figure contract from the US Air Force for the customization and ruggedization of its 7ft backpackable UAS for early detection and mitigation of wildfires. 

According to WingXpand, its upgraded aircraft will be able to withstand more rigorous conditions, and will also be equipped with advanced fire spotting software to transform it into a crucial tool in wildfire detection and prevention. 

Compact enough to fit into a backpack, the UAS offers more than two hours of autonomous flight time while carrying two pounds of customizable sensors for data collection. This capability is invaluable for use across industries including public safety, agriculture, and inspections, allowing comprehensive and flexible aerial surveys, more safely and effectively. 

The aircraft is also equipped with a smart computer with Edge AI, a cutting-edge technology that enables it to detect early signs of wildfires autonomously. WingXpand believes the US Air Force’s investment underscores the significance of the company’s technology and opens the door to future collaborations with other defense entities. 

James Barbieri, CEO and Co-Founder of WingXpand, said: “Our collaboration with the US Air Force and the contract we’ve secured emphasizes the innovative work we do. Not only have we developed an easy and powerful aircraft, but our AI technology will also contribute significantly to preventing wildfire loss. We’re excited to bring such a valuable tool to the US Air Force and the nation.” 

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Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact
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