Little Horned Owl


Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have become prevalent in everyday life; to deliver packages, conduct home inspections, and survey land. The need for increasingly sophisticated UAVs for civilian, military, and intelligence purposes requires a maturation of the technology to include the need for quiet UAVs.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, along with the Air Force Research Laboratory, have started a new program named Little Horned Owl. The program aims to address quiet, mini-UAV technologies to further enable several critical intelligence and military missions.  Additionally, LHO will develop acoustic "footprint" prediction tools that are expected to allow operational UAV users to know where they can safely and quietly operate. The LHO program is a continuation of the IARPA Great Horned Owl program which also researched quiet UAV technologies.

The goals for the program include:

  • Innovative battery architecture to improve flight times for battery-only flight
  • Lower take off gross weight
  • Ten-pound payload
  • Runway independent operation (minimal ground support equipment)
  • Flexible/reconfigurable platform for mission tailoring
  • Reduced system logistic footprint



Research Area(s)

Acoustic perception & minimum infrastructure, Low acoustic small UAV aircraft, Novel access

Related Program(s)


Broad Agency Announcement (BAA)

Solicitation Status