Planck Aero Awarded NSF Grant

San Diego
Planck Aerosystems has been awarded a competitive grant from the National Science Foundation to advance technologies associated with operating drones autonomously in the marine environment. Planck Aero has partnered with Brigham Young University’s MAGGIC Lab for the Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) grant. The complete press release is shown below.

Planck Aerosystems Awarded Competitive Grant from the National Science Foundation

Small Business Innovation Research Program Provides Seed Funding for R&D

San Diego, CA, February 8, 2017 – Planck Aerosystems has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant for $225,000 to conduct research and development (R&D) work on aerial drone systems operating autonomously in the marine environment to serve commercial fishing operations and other maritime industries.

Planck Aerosystems was founded in 2014 with a vision to provide aerial systems to maritime professionals so that they can do their jobs more safely and efficiently. Based in San Diego, Planck Aero leverages its background in maritime aviation, systems engineering, and guidance, navigation, and control software to solve complex problems associated with deploying drones from moving vessels. Brigham Young University’s MAGGIC Lab has deep experience in unmanned systems and has partnered with Planck Aerosystems on this STTR program.

“The National Science Foundation supports small businesses with the most innovative, cutting-edge ideas that have the potential to become great commercial successes and make huge societal impacts,” said Barry Johnson, Director of the NSF’s Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships. “We hope that this seed funding will spark solutions to some of the most important challenges of our time across all areas of science and technology.”

“Planck Aerosystems is fully invested in BlueTech initiatives, where we develop technologies to support ocean-based industries. Aerial drones operating autonomously from vessels at sea is an unprecedented tool for data collection,” said Josh Wells, CEO and Founder of Planck Aerosystems. “NSF’s support is important to ongoing development and commercialization of this technology.”

Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR grant (up to $225,000), it becomes eligible to apply for a Phase II grant (up to $750,000). Small businesses with Phase II grants are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales.

NSF accepts Phase I proposals from small businesses twice annually in June and December. Small businesses with innovative science and technology solutions, and commercial potential are encouraged to apply. All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program undergo a rigorous merit-based review process.

To learn more about the NSF SBIR/STTR program, visit:

About the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Programs: The National Science Foundation (NSF) awards nearly $190 million annually to startups and small businesses through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. The non-dilutive grants support research and development (R&D) across almost all areas of science and technology helping companies de-risk technology for commercial success. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $7 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.