US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

CBP Partners with DHS S&T and Tech Start-ups to Improve Small Unmanned Aircraft Capabilities

Release Date: 
December 21, 2016

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced today three awards to enhance U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) capabilities.  The sUAS capabilities will increase CBP’s mission capabilities and add support to U.S. Border Patrol agents’ activities, including enhanced overall situational awareness and detection, tracking, apprehension, and search and rescue operations.

Silicon Valley Logo
Silicon Valley Logo

The awards included:

  • $118,721 to Echodyne Corporation—a Bellevue, Washington based startup with expertise in radar products. 
  • $200,000 to Goleta Star LLC—a Los Angeles based startup with expertise in video radar technology.
  • $199,960 to Shield AI Inc.—a San Diego based startup with expertise in artificial intelligence and intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance systems. 

“Providing capabilities to increase agent and officer safety and effectiveness is a CBP priority,” said CBP Deputy Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan. “The technologies being developed by these innovative companies have the potential to substantially increase an agent’s and officer’s operational awareness and lead to safer operations.”

The companies join the DHS Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) portfolio under the Other Transaction Solicitation (OTS). The program was designed to engage non-traditional performers to develop solutions for some of the toughest threats facing homeland security.  The awards were made under SVIP’s Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) capabilities project to develop new capabilities in support of CBP’s operational mission.  Companies participating in the SVIP program are eligible for up to $800,000 in non-dilutive funding to adapt commercial technologies for homeland security use cases.

“Giving our operators the best situational tools and state-of-the art technology is essential,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “This is exactly the type of problem set we need our nation’s innovators and start-ups to engage on.”

For more information on future OTS solicitations, visit or contact

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021