The current call closes in

Calls for Proposals

Open Calls

There are currently no open calls, the previous call closed on 13th October 2014 at 12 noon.

Instead of opening further calls it was agreed that we should take a number of the Phase 1 projects forward to develop into Phase 2 projects. This is now underway.


The ASUR Business Agreement

The ASUR Business Agreement must be accepted in order to submit a proposal. Acceptance of the Business Agreement will allow download of the template for proposal submissions. Enactment of the Business Agreement will not come into force for any proposals which are subsequently rejected by the ASUR Programme.

It should be noted that no more ASUR calls under the current contract will be placed.


Previous Calls

September 2014 Call

Targeted Call for Research Proposals

The Autonomous Systems Underpinning Research (ASUR) programme announces that it is soliciting proposals for research projects. Proposals are sought in a set of specific areas relating to technologies that are potentially applicable to enhancing the development and operation of future autonomous systems. The areas, referred to here as challenges, that ASUR wishes to address in this call are:

  • Challenge 1: Unmanned sensor multi-layer control, optimisation and exploitation
  • Challenge 2: Enabling in-building operations
  • Challenge 3: Urban overwatch
  • Challenge 4: Understanding decision making in autonomous systems
  • Challenge 5: Mission viability
  • Challenge 6: Verification, Validation and Accreditation of Autonomous Systems

September 2013 Call

Decision Support

The main objective of a system with any degree of autonomy is to reduce the workload of the pilot or operator. With a fully autonomous system the pilot / operator function may be replaced completely except for authorisation of key actions. In order to achieve this, decision making will be a fundamental tenet of autonomy.


All systems with any degree of autonomy (from simple automatic systems to full autonomy) will require some tasking in order to achieve some prescribed goal(s). The breakdown of this tasking will usually involve planning for the various subsystems to allow their functions to be managed, and progression towards a more autonomous system may mean that the tasks performed by many subsystems need to be devolved from the overall goals of the system. Various levels of planning will be required which could be contained at a high level within the system or centrally managed, with local planning distributed to the subsystems to allow them to best manage their functionality.

Systems Concepts and Architectures for Autonomous Systems

The ASUR Programme will contribute, in conjunction with the rest of the UAS Pipeline activity, to credible plans for the realisation of the front-line benefits of increased autonomy. These benefits must be realised through system solution concepts that maintain or increase capability, whilst reducing, or at least not increasing through-life cost.

Sensors Exploitation

The functionality of autonomous systems requires the ability to gain data about the world as input into the process of understanding what useful information the data contains; this is an essential input into decision making. The use of novel sensing, data processing and communication of the data will enable systems to operate more autonomously with enhanced perception, improved situational awareness, enhanced decision support and greater operational effectiveness.

Human Machine Interaction and other DLODs

All systems, including autonomous systems, require some degree of interaction from humans. It will be crucially important if any degree of autonomy is to be implemented for these systems to become accepted by the human operators and for those operators to recognise that these systems enhance their ability to perform their tasks. Therefore these systems will have to operate alongside human decision making and enhance the human’s perception of what can be achieved co-operatively.

Small Unmanned Air Systems (SUAS)

Small Unmanned Air Systems (SUAS) is an overarching term for all UAS with platform weights below 7kg, i.e. it covers Mini, Micro and Nano UAS which are defined as having a maximum platform weight of 7kg, 2kg and 60g respectively. Current priority research areas:

  • Novel datalink technologies aimed at providing enhanced communications capabilities for SUAS operating in non-Line Of Sight environments such as inside buildings and in deep urban canyons
  • Novel Guidance, Navigation and Control (GN&C) technologies that have the potential to enable SUAS missions inside buildings and deep within urban canyons where GPS is unavailable and datalink integrity is at best intermittent.
  • Bio-inspired technologies that have the potential to significantly improve the capability offered by SUAS.