Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

For External Partners

A collage of uncrewed systems platforms and operators in action with the words "Bringing Together NOAA and its Uncrewed Systems Partners"

Collaboration with uncrewed systems experts across sectors is key to innovatively address NOAA mission needs. In pursuit of this, NOAA engages with providers of uncrewed systems platforms, sensors, and services through numerous means. 

Purchasing Platforms and Sensors

Sometimes NOAA buys an uncrewed systems platform or sensor from a provider and operates the uncrewed system on their own. For example the Uncrewed Systems Operations Center purchased DriX uncrewed marine systems from the company Exail, as well as Astro Map uncrewed aircraft systems from the company FreeFly. In both instances, NOAA owns and operates the platforms. Additionally, NOAA scientists work with industry and academia to develop sensors to deploy on uncrewed systems, like pH sensors on uncrewed marine systems.

Purchasing Services

In other scenarios, NOAA engages with an operator of the uncrewed system as a service. For example, NOAA partnered with Overwatch Aero to test the hybrid FVR-90 Vertical Take Off and Landing - Fixed Wing uncrewed aircraft system for beyond visual line of sight aerosol and cloud measurements. In comparison, NOAA science teams have partnered with Saildrone Inc to operate their uncrewed surface vehicles and provide the gathered data to NOAA as a service.

Formal Partnerships

NOAA also relies on agreements through formal partnerships to employ uncrewed systems to gather NOAA data. For example, many of the underwater gliders deployed as part of the NOAA hurricane glider program are done so through partnerships with Integrated Ocean Observing System Regional Association collaborators and the Navy. Partnering with NOAA through Cooperative Institutes can also be an effective way to engage on NOAA mission areas. Research and development of uncrewed systems technology has been achieved through engaging in NOAA's Small Business Innovation Research Program and NOAA Cooperative Research and Development Agreements. Other times, NOAA enters one-on-one formal agreements with a group to test a platform or develop a capability, like that signed with the University of Southern Mississippi

Learn more about how the NOAA uncrewed systems community operates UxS in this analysis of uncrewed systems use within NOAA (p. 6-7).

New and Current Opportunities

Uncrewed Systems Industry Kickoff Event  

The Uncrewed Systems Operations Center is standing up a new Forum for engagement between uncrewed systems vendors of platforms, sensors, and services and the NOAA uncrewed systems community. This Forum will be formally announced in a virtual Uncrewed Systems Industry Kickoff Event on July 22, 2024 from 1:00-5:00 PM Eastern. The Kickoff Event will also highlight NOAA requirements, current NOAA end users of UxS from industry, and potential applications of Uncrewed Systems Operations Center funding to UxS work.

If you are an uncrewed systems vendor interested in attending the virtual kickoff event, please fill out this survey. See the special notice for this event on Interested parties who complete the survey will receive a link to the virtual kickoff event.

Uncrewed Marine Systems Services Contracts  

The Uncrewed Systems Operations Center awarded three separate Multiple Award, Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity firm fixed contract vehicles to support uncrewed marine system services with an ordering period of three years from September 1, 2023 through August 31, 2026. Read more about the contract vehicles and awarded vendors here.

Interested in engaging more with NOAA on uncrewed systems? Reach out to the Uncrewed Systems Operations Center at

Note: Any use of trade, firm, or product names throughout this page or associated links is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

United States