Another Type of Unmanned SURGE

: Air Force Research Lab officials are interested in a rugged, man-portable unmanned aircraft less than 20 pounds in weight to support special operations forces with battlespace awareness and force protection. The goal of the Small Unmanned Renewable enerGy long Endurance Vehicle (SURGE-V) initiative is to develop and demonstrate a platform that overcomes the endurance and payload limitations that have traditionally characterized this class of unmanned vehicles, according to a notice posted at the Federal Business Opportunities website. AFRL seeks a platform capable of four-hour-plus missions and the ability to carry advanced payloads greater than two pounds. The Air Force anticipates awarding one SURGE-V contract, perhaps more. Success in this project “would enable increased [reconnaissance, surveillance, targeting, and acquisition] capabilities at the unit level, putting this much-needed tool directly into the hands of the warfighter on the ground,” reads the solicitation.