Special Topic Competiton

What is the FRST Special Topic Competition?

The FRST-STC competition is intended to solve problems that are common among FRST competitors, accelerating development among the FRST community as a whole. Innovators may submit algorithms, software, or hardware that contribute to localization but are not entire prototype tracking systems.


The competition will award winning teams prizes ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 per competitor based on the discretion of the judging panel.

The submission deadline will be in Mid February with a Kickoff Webinar in December. To stay updated you can sign up for updates at the top of this page. These timelines are subject to change.

Anybody is welcome to submit their technology for the STC. This includes teams eliminated from the main FRST competition, and entirely new teams.

Solutions WE are looking for

This competition is open to any subject that will enhance FRST Challenge solutions with a preference given to those subjects that in some way complement first responder location tracking as described in the FRST Challenge official rules and program document.

While wildfires are outdoor events, sometimes they happen in locations with large portions of the sky obscured, such as in canyons, so that GPS is not available. Plus, natural formations may limit radio communications, necessitating a need for a new location tracking solution.

The FRST Challenge aims to track first responder locations. However, knowing the first responder position may be much more valuable if coupled with an indoor map that is created in real-time or near real-time as compared to a known or available indoor map.

Improved radio or other communication protocols may enable greater range for indoor tracking or promote a level of robustness to known impairments with common building materials.

Solutions that record and/or transcribe voice from first responders may prove to be valuable in understanding the local situation experienced in different areas by a first responder.

As a variation of the ruggedization criterion of the FRST Challenge, increasing the reliability or usability of tracking systems may be accomplished through integration of a system with standard turnout gear.

Deployment support or enhanced pre-planning information.

To support and record multi-person tracking.

Methods must be independent of topology or connection type.

Algorithms that can detect and report infrastructure encountered while in the field to aid in tracking and rescue efforts.

Integrated biometrics sensors to monitor the health and safety of first responders in the field.

Technology to enhance first responders’ ability to sense and/or report imagery of their operating environments.

Materials, cases, systems, etc. that can protect tracking solutions in harsh environments. 

Algorithms and/or hardware to optimize networking no matter the environmental challenges or conditions. 

To ensure reliable, flexible, and secure connectivity in the field.  

Interested in Competing?

Sign up below to get updates on the Special Topic Competition deadlines and rules.