Press Release

NASA Langley Opens Registration for Spring 2020 Competition

By SpaceRef Editor
September 24, 2019
Filed under ,

Registration for NASA Langley’s Safeguard with Autonomous Navigation Demonstration (SAND) Challenge is now open.

The SAND Challenge will be an opportunity for small businesses to compete in an autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle competition. The challenge will address some of the safety critical risks associated with flying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in the national airspace system such as flight outside of approved airspace, unsafe proximity to people or property, and critical system failure.

NASA Langley’s patented Safeguard technology will be used to help small business competitors mitigate such risks while they complete a set of complex mission profiles. Safeguard is a verified and validated independent system originally designed to monitor off-the-shelf UAV systems and if/when necessary physically prevent the vehicles from entering no-fly zones or leaving approved airspace. For this competition, it will be configured to warn competitors (and auto-pilots) of impending excursions (or violations) while also objectively measuring performance with respect to the rules of the competition. For example, how well they comply with regulatory property protection and other operational requirements during flights.

The challenge will follow the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 107 Regulation Small Unmanned Aircraft Regulations.

The SAND Challenge will be held in May of 2020 in Hampton, Virginia.

To register for the SAND challenge and to view more information including drone eligibility, participant eligibility, operational requirements and more please visit

For more information about Langley Research Center go to

SpaceRef staff editor.