US Department of Homeland Security looking for (more than) a few good drones

DHS to test unmanned aircraft for variety of applications

The US Department of Homeland Security this week issued a call for unmanned systems makers to participate in a program that will ultimately determine their safety and performance for use in first responder, law enforcement and border security situations.

In a twist that will certainly raise some eyebrows,  the program’s results  of the ironically named program — The Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety (RAPS) —  will remain unavailable to the public, which considering how involved the actual public may be with these drones is shall we say, unfortunate. Specifically the DHS says: „The information within each test report will be classified as For Official Use Only, and will not be shared with the general public. All company-restricted information will remain proprietary to the SUAS provider, and not shared publicly without explicit consent.“

According to the DHS, the RAPS program will feature flight tests to evaluate unmanned systems „using key performance parameters under a wide variety of simulated but realistic and relevant real-world operational scenarios, such as law enforcement operations, search and rescue, and fire and hazardous material spill response.“ (more on