Advanced Technology International (ATI), TechConnect and The Vertical Lift Consortium (VLC) have announced the five winners of the 2022 Urban Air Mobility Innovation Challenge. Selected from a field of 18 finalists, winners were presented a total $50,000 in cash prizes at the Defense TechConnect (DTC) Innovation Summit & Expo.
Each winner presented its innovation during the conference’s “Shark Tank”-style pitching; finalists were given eight minutes to present to industry and government leadership aligned with participating contracting vehicles.
The five winners and their innovations are:
- Elphel, Inc., West Valley City, Utah
A novel method for long-range, thermal 3D imaging of air vehicles that enables robust, long-range, day/night, all-weather 3D perception for air mobility operations.
- Information Systems Laboratories, Inc., Beavercreek County, Ohio
An artificial intelligence-enhanced radar for detection, classification and sense & avoid that leverages flight test data from 1-3 Unmanned Aerial Systems and multiple other objects.
- PhasorLab Inc., Nashua, N.H.
A secure, scalable and affordable wireless mesh network for frequency synchronization that provides robust mobile Assured Position, Navigation and Timing (A-PNT) services in any environment without Global Positioning System data.
- Valqari, Lombard, Ill.
A product line of patented drone vertiports that automates the delivery process between drones and infrastructure and creates a designated area for drones to safely land, keeping people and property away from the potentially dangerous drones and valuable cargo.
- Volexion, Chicago, Ill.
A graphene encapsulation solution that protects lithium battery cathode materials and drives game-changing improvements in performance – including 2x cycle life, voltage range extension, safety improvements, 5-10x power efficiency, and low temperature operation – while increasing energy density by 35% and reducing cost by 30%.
DTC’s Urban Air Mobility Innovation Challenge is sponsored by VLC, a collaboration of small and large businesses, for-profit and not-for-profit entities, academic organizations and their affiliated organizations working together with the U.S. government to rapidly transition innovative vertical lift technologies and coordinate research and development programs designed for prototype aviation technologies. This years’ challenge featured several areas of interest, including: electric vertical takeoff and landing (e-VTOL), innovative power generation and storage, data and systems situational awareness management, autonomous and collaborative behavior, and innovative air mobility capabilities and applications. Administrators of the Innovation Challenge encouraged applications from innovators with state-of-the-art air mobility solutions for both civilian and federal security applications.