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Prepare NOW for your winning prototype!

Download contest materials - New entries starting
December 4 for Stage3: Walk-on Contest


About The Challenge

Could your Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) win a competition for the “Last Drone Standing”?

If you look around, there are plenty of drone challenges sponsored by industry, academia, non-profits, and government agencies. The First Responder UAS Endurance Challenge, however, will be the one most worthy of your time.

Why? Because the First Responder UAS Endurance Challenge is a competition that is specifically designed to crowd-source as many inventive drone designs as possible for first responders. What does this mean for you? It means the Challenge presents a unique opportunity to use your ingenuity and hardware build expertise to design a drone prototype that will fly for the longest time possible while carrying a 10-pound payload. It means the competition awards up to $552K in prizes that not only include the top three best designs that meet program requirements, but also include a variety of ‘best-in-class’ awards for specific drone capabilities. When you accept our invitation to join this Challenge, you and your team will be directly helping to advance UAS technology focused on supporting the needs of the public safety community and its stakeholders.

In this Challenge, implemented by Capital Consulting Corporation and Arizona State University Research Enterprise (ASURE) under contract with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Public Safety Communication Research (PSCR) Division, you are asked to create and build a powerful drone intended to support critical, life-saving missions. Will you push the innovation envelope and accept our invitation to be the “Last Drone Standing?”

America’s First Responders need your support!

First Responder UAS Endurance Challenge

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Visit this page regularly for updated information. Sign up now for updates, including notification of the official Challenge launch notice, by clicking "Get in touch."

First Responder UAS Endurance Challenge



Latest Updates

11/6/20 - Congratulations to the Contestants Joining the Stage 2 CDR Winners Circle!!

10/28/20 - Stage 3 Webinar recording and presentation

10/2/20 - Workbook and Summary slide posted

8/14/20 - Congratulations to the Contestants Joining the Stage 2 Winners Circle!!

6/3/20 - Congratulations to the Contestants Joining the Stage 1 Winners Circle!!

4/30/20 - Contest Closed

4/28/20 - New FAQs are posted.

4/21/20 - New and Updated FAQs are posted.

4/10/20 - New FAQs are posted.

4/6/20 - 4/2 webinar recording is posted.

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emergency responders on mountain

Key Details


To support the first responder community and help save lives.

Imagine a scenario where a citizen is lost in the desert. The existing Public Safety Broadband Network (PSBN) only covers 5% of the search area because of the local topography. A team of first responders deployed to the incident area need to rely on your Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) to carry wireless communications equipment that can be deployed quickly and support emergency response teams in the area.


Accept this Challenge to expand current drone capabilities (i.e. vertical takeoff and landing, accuracy, stability, safety), payload management, and flight endurance to support search-and-rescue operations and other public safety missions of similar need.


Mark your calendars for our December 4, 2020 Stage 3: Video Test & Safety Evaluation Contest launch date and compete as "walk-on" contestants. Check out "Key Details" for submission requirements and information on what you can do right now to be ready. Selected contestants will receive travel prize awards and invitations to participate in the final stage.

The final stage will be a Live Test & Evaluation Contest to demonstrate your UAS capability and compete for prizes and recognition. Go to for complete Challenge Rules, evaluation criteria, and more details.


There are several actions that you can begin working on right now to be ready for Stage 3: Video Test & Safety Review Contest:

  1. Sign Up For Updates.
  2. Begin Collecting Data and Drafting Your Submission Material –The rules and evaluation criteria have already been published, so you can begin developing your Stage 3 workbook (technical performance measures, bill of materials), summary slide, working on your test flight video, and optional calculation/test results document now.
  3. Check out step-by-step instructions for a successful contest entry.



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Contact Info

Josh Shapiro
Best In Crowd
Capital Consulting Corp
+1 (301) 468-6001

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