Building a Capable and Trusted Drone Ecosystem for the US & Our Partners

In this session, DIU staff and other experts from across the services will share details about the Blue UAS project and how they are using this project to build a robust, trusted UAS domestic industrial base amid cyber security and global supply chain challenges.

Capital Factory
3 min readJun 1, 2022

What you’ll learn

  • Overview of UAS, how DoD and USG Policy has changed and evolved over time, and the 5 lines of effort to rapidly prototype and scale commercial use technology (01:32)
  • Biggest challenges with UAS in the space right now, and to end users in the policy environment (07:04)
  • How to handle the “moving target” policy challenge from an industry perspective (10:10)
  • Why is DIU in this space, particularly when it comes to commercial UAS? (14:20)
  • How end users can work together to help with policy changes happening in this space (16:58)
  • Most challenging aspect of DIU’s next steps in the blue UAS space (24:30)
  • Tactical versus non-tactical uses of drones (26:15)

Key quotes

“I think the interoperability standards that the DOD has between hardware, software, network, architecture, everything in between is a big challenge that we’re facing right now. We’re trying to ensure that the cyber safe, safe to fly UAS are available. And how do they talk to each other? What’s the standard? What’s the common architecture between them?” — Joel Castillo, A&S

“if I were to say the challenge there is that the target tends to move. And so your program, as you laid it out and as I’ve witnessed and been involved in, is is trying to broaden our aperture so that we can hit that target no matter where it moves, and we have a wider range band.” — Jason Kirkpatrick, US Army Corps of Engineers

“That’s specifically the wedge that DIU is set to tackle, where commercial industry is driving technology in faster iterations than DoD can keep up with.” — Andrew Musto, DIU

“The more that we can band together as organizations within the government and even the industry teams like the oil and gas industry and the power industry that use these systems, the more that we have commonality of standards and experience, the better off we’re going to be turning this issue of cybersecurity for sUAS and our nation.”— Jason Kirkpatrick, US Army Corps of Engineers

“We didn’t want to work in a bubble. We didn’t want to work in a vacuum. We didn’t want to be the only ones trying to implement blue UAS for the government as a whole. I think it was instrumental that the folks at DIU brought in other federal government players in the sUAS market to bring them in and get their input.” — Joel Castillo, A&S

Who you’ll hear from

Sean Anderson, DIU, Project Manager

Joel Castillo, Office of Secretary of Defense (A&S), Unmanned Aircraft Systems/Robotic Autonomous Systems

Andrew Musto, DIU, Deputy Director, Autonomy

Jason Kirkpatrick, US Army Corps of Engineers, Program Manager

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About Fed Supernova
Fed Supernova is a three-day annual conference highlighting defense innovation in Texas. This first-of-its-kind interactive experience draws national attention and connects leading entrepreneurs, investors, thought leaders, corporations, and decision makers from around the world.

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Capital Factory is the center of gravity for entrepreneurs in Texas, the number one startup state in the U.S. Hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs, programmers and designers gather day and night, in-person and online for meetups, classes and coworking. With boots on the ground in Austin, Dallas and Houston, we meet the best entrepreneurs in Texas and introduce them to their first investors, employees, mentors and customers. According to Pitchbook, Capital Factory has been the most active investor in Texas since 2013.



Capital Factory

The center of gravity for entrepreneurs in Texas. We meet the best startups in Texas and introduce them to potential investors, employees and customers.