Sandbox Call For Applications  Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (CUAS)

We provide the drones, you detect and defeat them!
9 September to 4 October 2019, Suffield Alberta

Challenge Statement:  How might we detect and/or defeat (kinetically or non-kinetically) micro and mini Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)? 

Canadian Armed Forces Sponsors: Canadian Army, and the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command.

Application Opening date:                              April 26, 2019

Application Closing date:                                 Extended from May 23, 2019 to May 27, 2019, 14:00 EST

Notification to Accepted Participants:         June 2019

Challenge Details

Challenge Statement

How might we detect and/or defeat (kinetically or non-kinetically) Micro and Mini Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)?

Sandbox Overview:

The CAF will provide the Participants with access to a range environment where various UAS systems will be operated by the CAF in an appropriate manner and distances for the scenario. The Participant will demonstrate the functionality and capability of their technology in detecting and/or defeating the UAS, as applicable to their solution.

DND/CAF experts will provide verbal and written feedback to each Participant on how successful their solution was at detecting and/or defeating the UAS.  Participants will also receive feedback on the projected functionality of their solution if it were in an actual theatre of operations.

The full information on this Challenge is available here: Annex D, the CUAS Challenge

Background and Context

While UAS come in many sizes, those of concern in this particular Sandbox are of the Class 1 Micro and Mini UAS under the NATO classification system:

  • Micro UAS with typical characteristics of: <2kg, up to 200ft Above Ground Level(AGL), normal mission radius of 5km Line of Sight (LOS); and
  • Mini UAS with typical characteristics of: 2-20kg, up to 3000ft AGL, normal mission radius of 25km LOS.

The increase of the availability, complexity and capabilities of such mini and micro UAS is posing increasing threats to Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) elements including observation of where we are and what we are doing, delivery of weapons against us, as well as swarming attacks by multiple UAS concurrently.

Desired Outcomes and Solution Categories

For the purposes of this Sandbox, proposed solutions will be categorized as follows:

These are solutions that have the capability to provide the detection that a UAS threat has appeared, but do not include a capability to defeat the UAS in any way. After detecting a threat, such solutions would typically cue a separate Defeat system to take on that part of the challenge. Detect solutions may also include the additional and more precise aspects of target recognition and identification. Within the Detect category, the Canadian Army is specifically interested in the following characteristics:

  • Effective area covered (range and direction)
  • Passive detection
  • Target recognition
  • Target identification
  • Location of the target’s Ground Control Station
  • Detection and tracking of swarms of UAS
  • Minimizing the operator burden to use the system
  • Applicability to the operational scenarios:
    • Defending a Forward Operating Base
    • Defending a mobile vehicle force element
    • Defending a small element of dismounted soldiers
    • Functional in urban scenarios


These are solutions that do not have the capability to do the initial detection that a UAS threat has appeared, but once cued to that threat by a separate Detect system do have the capability to target and defeat those detected threats.  Within the Detect category, the Canadian Army is specifically interested in the following characteristics:

  • Effective range
  • Defeating the target’s Ground Control Station
  • Defeating swarms of UAS
  • Exploiting the data from the target UAS
  • Minimizing the operator burden to use the system.
  • Applicability to the operational scenarios:
    • Defending a Forward Operating Base
    • Defending a mobile vehicle force element
    • Defending a small element of dismounted soldiers
    • Functional in urban scenarios

Detect and Defeat

These are integrated solutions that can both detect the appearance of a UAS threat and defeat it, as described above.



This CFA is open to individuals, academia, not for profit organizations, and industry of any size, as well as provincial, territorial, and municipal organizations.

Federal government departments/agencies, and federal Crown Corporations are not eligible to submit applications to this CFA.


Sandboxes are not exclusively restricted to made in Canada products/solutions; however, the level of Canadian content within each application will be given consideration during the evaluation process.

As attendance at a Sandbox is not a contractual relationship and DND/CAF is not funding the development or procurement of the solution at this Sandbox, the normal approach of defining Canadian Content as a percentage of the contract value cannot be used.  Instead, the evaluation of the Canadian Content in any solution will simply look at what proportion of the solution at the time of application consists of Canadian goods and/or services.  For example, was the research and development conducted in Canada, was the prototype built in Canada, are you using materiels from Canadian suppliers, are you partnering with any Canadian companies on this solution, etc.  

Criteria and Evaluation

The full criteria and scoring metrics can be seen in Appendix 1 of the CUAS Challenge document. The Application Form also includes all criteria and scoring metrics.

The Criteria
  • Mandatory.  Applications must PASS all of the following mandatory criteria.  Applications that FAIL to meet any mandatory criteria will not be selected to attend the Sandbox.
    • Solution Readiness Level 4 is already completed: SRL 4 Proof of Concept - basic integration of applications and/or concepts to demonstrate viability.
    • Alignment with the Challenge.
    • Proposed test plan can be safely done in the provided Sandbox.
    • Proposed test plan is achievable within the constraints of the test environment.
    • Terms and Conditions of participating in the Sandbox are accepted.
  • Point Rated with Minimum Pass Mark.  Applications must meet or exceed all Minimum Pass Marks.   Applications that FAIL to meet any Minimum Pass Mark criteria will not be selected to attend the Sandbox.
    • Minimum range of 100 metres.
    • Alignment with the CAF Future Force.
    • Alignment with CAF Implementation Resource Capacity is reasonable.
  • Point Rated.  Applications will receive a score, but there is no minimum mandatory score.
    • Multiple sub-criteria that are each scored out of 10.  

Point Rated Scoring

Raw Score.  Each point rated criteria receives a Raw Score on a scale of 0-10 points, as described in the criteria’s evaluation schema.

Weighted Score.  As some criteria are more important than others, and some criteria have sub-criteria while others do not, the raw score is multiplied by the percentage weight factor for that specific criteria in order to maintain its intended level of relevance and to determine its resultant weighted score.  Weighted Score = (Raw Score / 10) x Percentage Weight Factor

Total Score.  The total score for an Application is the sum of all Weighted Scores.  By consequence, the maximum total score is 100 percent.  (Total Score = Sum of all Weighted Scores)

Scoring Distribution of the Point Rated Criteria:
  • Challenge Alignment and Performance: 30%
  • Test Plan: 5%
  • Novel and Innovative: 10%
  • S&T Feasibility and Approach: 10%
  • Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+): 5%
  • Alignment with the CAF Future Force: 15%
  • Alignment with CAF Implementation Resource Capacity: 15%
  • Canadian Content: 10%

Total: 100%

Selection Process

As the capacity for any one Sandbox may be limited, a fair, open, and transparent evaluation and selection process will be used via this CFA to determine which Applicants receive a confirmed invitation to attend.


The primary purpose of the selection process is not to eliminate applications but rather to prioritize the applications so that the best solutions are accepted first.  Additionally, where possible it is desirable to achieve a diversity of approaches to the challenge so that we examine more than one way to solve it, as opposed to having a Sandbox with only one solution type.

Using the results of the mandatory and rated evaluations, invitations to Qualified Applicants will be issued until a limiting factor for each Sandbox is reached.  This may mean that although qualified, some Applicants may not receive an invitation to attend the Sandbox.  Selections from the list of Qualified Applicants will be made using the following principles:

Subject to the number of qualified applications received for each solution category, selections can be expected to be proportionally distributed as follows:

Category of Solution

Intended Proportion

of Total Selections

Detect Only solutions

20 %

Defeat Only solutions

20 %

Integrated Detect and Defeat solutions

60 % as integrated solutions are of most interest

  • Within the pool of Qualified Applicants, and within such solution categories, Applications will be ranked in order from highest to lowest points scored.
  • Selections will commence with the highest scoring solutions within each category and continue downwards until a limiting factor is reached.  That limiting factor will generally be the number of spots available in a Sandbox; however, that cannot be precisely pre-defined as the complexity or simplicity of any one application will influence how quickly a limiting factor is collectively reached.   If there is a tie in Total Score amongst solutions once ranked in descending order within each category, Canada will use Government of Canada and departmental priorities to break the tie.

Diversity of Solutions
  • It is expected that solutions that take a similar technical approach are likely to achieve a similar score, and by consequence that may block out alternate styles of solution and result in a Sandbox in which only one path of development is seen. 
  • As DND/CAF wants to observe multiple different approaches to the Challenge the selection process will rely on points scored as the primary selection means; however, if it becomes apparent that interesting solutions of alternate methods are being blocked because of the scoring system the selection committee may deviate from the ranked list(s) to ensure a diversity of approaches and methods to solving the challenge are present in the Sandbox.

Multiple Submissions:

Multiple submissions from one applicant are permitted, provided the solutions are thoroughly different from each other and not simply a variation of the same method or technology. Each solution must be submitted with its own complete application package. The determination of the degree of difference and acceptability of each additional submission shall be at the sole discretion of DND.

Cost Sharing

DND/CAF is providing the Sandbox environment at no cost to Participants; however, DND/CAF recognizes there are costs incurred for participation to conduct the required testing and demonstrations.

On a cost sharing basis, IDEaS will fund 50 percent of identified reasonable expenses as outlined below provided the Participant also pays 50%, up to a maximum combined 100% amount of $24,000 (the Cost Sharing Ceiling for the CUAS Sandbox).  The Participant is 100% responsible for all costs above the ceiling amount, as well as all costs not covered as described below.

Eligible Costs

All costs claimed must be directly attributable to attending the Sandbox itself and are inclusive of delivered duty paid and applicable taxes.  The types of claimable expenses under this cost-sharing arrangement are limited to:

  • Travel, accommodation, and living expenses. The National Joint Council Travel Directive will apply for any travel, accommodation and living expenses.
  • Shipping and transportation expenses of equipment to/from the Sandbox environment.

  • Each Participant will submit a forecast of such reasonable expenses prior to the Sandbox which will be subject to approval by Canada.
  • Upon conclusion of the Sandbox, applicable processes for submitting actual expenses and payments will be concluded.

Example Application of the Cost Sharing Model:

The published cost ceiling is $24,000.  The Participant submits receipts for $30,000 for travel and shipping of their equipment to/from the Sandbox, and $2,000 of travel they made prior to the Sandbox to develop their prototype.

  • The $2,000 for their internal sandbox preparations is not an eligible expense.
  • The $30,000 for the travel and shipping to the Sandbox is eligible; however, only the amount of $24,000 is claimable within the ceiling limit.
  • The IDEaS 50% share of that claimable amount and amount paid to the Participant would be $12,000.  The Participant is responsible for all other costs.

How to Apply

If you have a working prototype that can detect and/or defeat unmanned aerial systems, we are interested in your application to demonstrate it to us at the Sandbox in September 2019.

Read the Challenge information
  • Look at the detailed description of this CUAS Challenge.
    • Review the criteria (Appendix 1) to understand how we will evaluate your Application.
    • Review the Red Team flight profiles (Appendix 2) to understand what kinds of demonstrations we are expecting in your test plan.
  • Read the Call For Applications (CFA) document to understand how Sandboxes work in general.

Prepare your Application
  • Review the Application Form and Participant Agreement
    • This is a series of selectable responses and short text answers.
    • The criteria and point scoring metrics used to evaluate your application are embedded within the form.
  • Complete the Application Form and Participant Agreement
    • You will need to attach a photo of your prototype to your Application.
    • If you transmit any Radio Frequency energy, you will need to complete and attach this DND-552, Application for Spectrum Supportability
    • You will need to attach your proposed Test Plan for the Sandbox to your Application, which must use this Test Plan Template
  • Verification:
    • Verify that you have completed all applicable questions on your Application.
    • Verify that you attached a photo of your prototype to the Application (Section 1).
    • Verify that you attached your Test Plan to your Application (Section 4).
    • Verify that you attached your Radio Clearance form (Section 3.2).Verify that have you read, understood, and accepted all Terms and Conditions of Applying to and Participating in the Sandbox (Section 12)
    • Verify that you have identified the Authorizing Officer for your Application (Section 13)

Submit Your Application, prior to 14:00 hours EST on May 27, 2019 (Extended from May 23)

  • Responses to this CFA will only be accepted via the completion and submission of the Application forms via Epost until 27 May 2019, 14:00 EST. (Extended from 23 May)  Late submissions will not be reviewed.
  • Method of Submission.  Applications and all attached forms must be submitted via the Epost system as follows:
    • Obtain an Epost account.  If you intend to apply to a Sandbox, send an email to the Sandbox Team to request a Sandbox Epost account.  Do this in advance of 23 May to ensure your account is created well before the submission deadline. Sandbox Team:
    • Complete the Application forms.
      • Sandbox Application and Participant’s Agreement form (mandatory).  By submitting this form, the Applicant is not only proposing their solution for inclusion in the Sandbox, but is also formally agreeing to accept and undertake the terms and conditions contained within the form if they are selected as a Participant to attend the Sandbox.
      • Test Plan template (mandatory).
      • DND-552, Application for Spectrum Supportability, if transmitting RF energy.
  • Submit your application to your Epost account.


FAQs will be posted here while the Call For Applications is open.
Contact us:

Q.  When I click on the Application form I get an Adobe error message and the form won’t open.

A.  Some users report an error message when opening the Application form from their browser using Chrome.  Internet Explorer does not seem to have this issue.  In most cases this can be corrected by downloading the form to your computer (right-click on the link, Save As…) and opening it from your hard drive.  If you continue to have problems, please contact us and we will email a direct copy of the form to you.

Q.   Are multiple submissions permitted?

A.  Multiple submissions from one applicant are permitted, provided the solutions are thoroughly different from each other and not simply a variation of the same method or technology.  Each solution must be submitted with its own complete application package.  The determination of the degree of difference and acceptability of each additional submission shall be at the sole discretion of DND.

Q.  I'm confused by section 14 on the DND form 552 Application for Spectrum Supportability.  What do I do?

A.  DND 552 is only required if your solution emits radio frequency energy.  Section 14 of the form on page 1 need not be completed at this time.

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