Applications open to participate in NIST search and rescue competition


Cavin Skidmore, a flight operations technician at MSU’s Raspet Flight Research Lab, launches an unmanned aircraft system at the university’s R.R. Foil Plant Sciences Research Center, known by many as North Farm. (Photo by Chris Bryant)

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will host a competition to advance the use of unmanned aircraft systems in first responder search-and-rescue operations.

Known as the First Responder UAS Triple Challenge, the contest is managed by Kansas State University, in partnership with Mississippi State University’s (MSU) Raspet Flight Research Laboratory. Participants are invited to compete for up to $720,000 in prizes in an unmanned aircraft system design and build challenge.

NIST’s Public Safety Communications Research, or PSCR, division will accept contest entries beginning August 2, 2021 with multiple stages running through June 2022.

“Our goal at PSCR is to accelerate the development and adoption of advanced wireless communications for the public safety community,” said Dereck Orr, division chief. “These prize competitions are a way for us to find solvers from around the world to help us with this important research.”

Prize recipients will be determined by a panel of judges, assisted by a team of subject matter experts, through each stage of the competitions. 

To learn about eligibility requirements, visit, and for additional information about the challenge and to register, visit

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories