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What is Blue UAS?

Simply put, Blue UAS products are commercial drones that passed the evaluation of the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) of the DoD, meaning they’re now recommended for use by the US government.

The Blue UAS effort is a comprehensive and ongoing method for the Department of Defense to quickly evaluate and scale commercial unmanned aerial system (UAS) technology.

This initiative by the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) of the DoD consists of 5 lines of work that curate, maintain, and enhance a wide range of commercial UAS that have been approved by policy and meet the various requirements of DoD customers.

UAS units provide new functionalities for daily living. Commercial drones are used more often to transport supplies, record extreme sport footage, aid in search and rescue missions, and investigate agricultural yields, building sites, infrastructure, and real estate.

The Rise of Blue UAS in the US

In recent years, drones have become an increasingly popular tool for both commercial and military applications. An unmanned aerial system (UAS) offers a number of advantages over traditional aircraft, including the ability to stay in the air for longer periods of time and to reach areas that would be inaccessible or too dangerous for pilots.

As a result, it should come as no surprise that the US Department of Defense (DoD) has started to integrate drones into its operations. The Department has released a list of recommended drones for both combat and surveillance purposes, and it is expected that other branches of the military will soon follow suit.

While there are still some concerns about the use of drones in warfare, it is clear that they are here to stay, and the Department of Defense is leading the way in making sure that they are used in the most effective way possible.

5 Lines of Effort

  1. Cleared List - A regularly updated list of drones authorized by the DoD offers alternatives for the changing mission requirements of government users. These drones are offered for purchase and use by the government. These comply with section 848 of the FY20 NDAA. They have also been certified as safe to fly and cyber-secure.
  2. On-Ramp - This refers to the licensing and screening process expedited by the DIU that makes it possible for reliable and secure commercial UAS products to be regularly onboarded into the government market. The On-Ramp provides government customers with approved drones.
  3. Hub - The Hub is a government website that gathers all relevant data about Blue UAS resources for industry and government stakeholders in one location. The most recent OSD and service-level UAS policies are also covered, along with requirements and processes that are well-articulated and simple to follow.
  4. Foundry - Rapid prototyping and scaling of new or current UAS are done using DIU's proven Commercial Solutions Opening methodology to meet the specific demands of government customers and to maintain iterative testing.
  5. Framework - Software and UAS parts that are NDAA compliant and interoperable, giving business and government partners alternatives. The Framework lowers risk for government clients while giving sUAS developers greater capabilities.

Government orgs and the non-Blue UAS

Not being on the Blue UAS Cleared List doesn’t necessarily mean not being able to sell or supply drones to government organizations.

If a DoD entity meets their own internal administrative standards, they can acquire certified compatible UAS not on the cleared list. While Blue UAS offers bare-bones verification of DoD administrative standards, USG entities are free to purchase other, certified compliant UAS that meet their mission requirements.

The identical administrative procedures might be finished by any DoD or USG entity to meet their internal criteria.

The Blue UAS advantage

The military uses of those same systems become more obvious each day including transformational on-demand tactical capabilities in contested fighting areas.

The DoD and government users can gain from the commercial UAS industry's ongoing development as systems are constantly upgraded, reviewed, and on-ramped, speeding up access to technology.

Once approved by the Blue UAS On-Ramp endeavor, commercial UAS that adhere to policy do not need to continuously request exceptions from DoD policy renewal. This lessens the administrative load on end users.

The Blue UAS program was created with the goal of being the most effective technique available for commercial systems, while it is not the only avenue for government validation of UAS.

From maintaining base infrastructure to enhancing physical security through routine patrol and surveillance, Blue UAS is a dependable resource for a wide range of tasks. The DoD will be able to employ and develop more UAS by replacing the existing restricted environment around them with a permissive structure for assessment and acquisition.

Are you looking to integrate Blue UAS into your operations? Give us a call at (877) 299-1075 to learn how we can help jumpstart your organization’s drone fleet!

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