05 Jul 2017

Welcome to ThunderDrone!

SOFWERX invites SOF Warfighters, Interagency Partners, and select contributors from Industry and Academia to participate in a two-month Rapid Prototyping Event (RPE) focused on drones (sea, land, air, and space), tactical swarms, effects, and their associated data science applications for the Special Operations community.

In the latest of our rapid prototyping events at SOFWERX, US Special Operations Command aims to achieve four objectives in the area of unmanned vehicles (air, ground, maritime, etc)

Swarms: building and controlling (3, 33, 333, 3003)

Platforms: identify or build the best of breed

Effects: apply synergistically across the effect landscape (non kinetic/kinetic)

Data Science: quantitative insight across the entire lifecycle (design, build,operate, and assess)

How can you get involved?

  1. Submit your Drone or Data Science Technology: Submissions due by 20 July.
  • This is for new, novel, or provocative technology up to and including; drone hardware, electronics, software, sensors, actuators, kinetic/non-kinetic payloads, and advanced data science techniques, algorithms, and frameworks.
  • If you do not follow all of the directions in the ThunderDrone RPE submission guide below, we will not receive or see your submission. Follow them carefully.
  • All submitters will be notified whether their submission has been selected or not o/a 7 August via e-mail.
  1. How to Participate On or Offsite


Initial Timeline

Warfighter Council: 29 June at SOFWERX. This is for active-duty SOF, or their designated representatives only. The Warfighter Council will help shape the overall RPE, define desired effects, provide use cases, operational parameters, and assessment criteria for the event. (Closed, Invitations sent 21 June)

Interagency Council: 11 July at SOFWERX.  This is for authorized representatives from across the US Federal Government, including National Labs and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs). The Interagency Council will help inform SOCOM of the activities, technologies, and lessons learned from other areas of government that should be considered for this RPE. (Closed, Invitations sent 21 June)

Academic Council: 25 July at SOFWERX.  This is for authorized representatives from accredited universities. The Academic Council will help inform SOCOM of the research and development across the international academic community that should be considered for this RPE.  (Click here to register by 7 July)

Warfighter Tech Submission Downselect: 21 July – 4 August. Warfighters will review the submissions and help determine which ones will be invited to present at the Tech Expo.

Selected Technology Demonstration Days: 5-8 September. Downselected capabilities presented and discussed with stakeholder onsite in Tampa, Florida.

If you have never had the opportunity to participate in a USSOCOM/SOFWERX Rapid Prototyping Events, they have three primary characteristics:

  • High intensity short duration collision event designed to generate leaps in capabilities
  • Apply innovative thinking to existing or envisioned voids and create “proof of theory, proof of concepts”
  • Collaborative across all sectors – defense, industry and academia


Technical submissions are due NLT 20 Jul 17.



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