Aerial Applications was awarded funding to work with the U.S. Air Force.
Based out of Alley powered by Verizon, the tech startup collects and processes data from drones, and builds software that makes using that data easy for businesses. Over the four years, Aerial Applications will be a part of the US Air Force Small Business Innovation Research Phase II B Strategic Fund Increase Pilot Program, receiving $6 million in R&D funding to advance the development of environmental monitoring tech using artificial intelligence for an Air Force initiative.
The award was announced during the keynote at the Virtual Spark Collider, Pitch Bowl, and STRATFI Showcase on March 12, which was originally slated to take place in Austin during SXSW but moved online.
“Aerial Applications has been a fantastic and talented partner and are well positioned to deliver this advanced drone imagery and machine learning capability for multiple installation and mission support enterprise uses,” said Marc Vandeveer, CIO at the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center (AFIMSC), in a statement.
Aerial Applications was awarded out of a pool of hundreds of applicants and a three-round selection process. The scope of the startup’s work will be to develop AI and mapping analysis tools to support AFIMSC on an initial project to map the habitat of the endangered golden-cheeked warbler at Camp Bullis in San Antonio, per a press release. This project will be expanded to include habitat mapping to other species and cases across 12 locations.
“We’re excited and humbled to have earned this amazing opportunity to develop, deploy and scale our technologies. From wildfires to polar bears, we’re proud to support Air Force missions in diverse environments and applications,” said Aerial Applications CEO Joe Sullivan in a statement. “Our team can’t wait to prove how drones and AI can save lives, help humanity tackle complex problems at scale, and make advanced geospatial intelligence accessible to everyone.”
This award comes nearly a year after Aerial Applications closed a $4.5 million equity funding round. The tech startup was also part of the first cohort in the Verizon 5G First Responder Lab. Aerial Applications will continue to work with Verizon at the lab to develop tech for the Air Force projects.