Auterion lands a $2M contract with the U.S. Department of Defense


The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) of the U.S. Department of Defense has offered the Zurich-based Auterion a $2 million contract to enhance PX4 open source software to spur innovation in the PX4 ecosystem. Another big win for Auterion is the integration of its Enterprise PX4 operating system on GE Aviation’s Unmanned Aircraft System avionics platform.


Auterion’s Enterprise PX4 is an open-source-based, enterprise operating system for autonomous vehicles based on PX4 – the most widely used open source drone autopilot-software. Designed to be a standard operating system for the fragmented commercial drone industry, Auterion’s open source system enables manufacturers to build their products on global and safe standards using a common infrastructure. The solution also promises to minimize the current complications with interoperability between drones and services, compliance with drone safety regulations, and cyber-security. The DIU (Defense Innovation Unit) has also identified the PX4 ecosystem as the key driver for innovation and standardization in the drone industry. Under the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), DIU has awarded Auterion a $2m contract to accelerate open source projects over a 12-month performance period. The main focus lies on cybersecurity improvements, UX upgrades, communication protocols, and computer vision enhancements. The solution will enable and promote the use of open source technologies in Western-made drones. The advancements will also be open-sourced to benefit the drone industry at large, including government and commercial drone applications in inspection, surveying, mapping, and cargo, and will scale across a variety of hardware platforms. GE Aviation integrates AuterionGE Aviation, an operating unit of GE, the world-leading provider of jet and turboshaft engines, avionics, electrical power systems and digital solutions also believes in the potential of Auterion's solution. The two companies have signed a teaming agreement to provide an all-in-one hardware and software platform for drone manufacturers and operators seeking to enable commercial drone operations at scale. The full stack solution will include an airborne autopilot and application computing hardware, flight management, safety management, and integration. While GE Aviation is providing the avionics hardware, application computing, flight management, and integration into airframes, Auterion is providing Enterprise PX4, the operating system that runs on the vehicle, in the cloud and the ground station. Flight testing of the hardware and software platform took place over the last three weeks at Reno-Stead airport in Reno, Nevada. “In demonstrating a seamless integration of ground, cloud and airborne components, we’ve reached another milestone in helping to unlock the value in autonomous and UAS advanced operations,” said Alan Caslavka, president of Avionics Systems for GE Aviation. “Auterion’s open standards leadership and cooperative legacy with the developer community is foundational to a scalable and sustainable solution critical for commercial drones.” “The collaboration with GE Aviation allows us to offer our operating system on high-reliability hardware to meet future regulations. The combined solution will significantly reduce barriers commercial cargo drones face flying in manned airspace or inspection drones to flying in urban areas,” said Kevin Sartori, Co-Founder of Auterion.(Press release)