A few years ago DARPA put out a call for experienced mobile app developers to come work on a project called the Adaptable Sensor System, or simply “ADAPT.” All the organization would say at the time was the project related to designing new types of sensors that leveraged mobile technology. Now we have the first video featuring one of these sensors in action, and it’s in an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).ADAPT is an effort to design a versatile sensor framework that can be used in various settings, but will focus on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) designs… you know, for sneaky stuff. This means that a UAV test is particularly appropriate, but why the mobile app developers? Well, ADAPT turns out to be based on a customized build of Android.In DARPA’s test, a simple quadcopter UAV is using the ADAPT sensor to automatically track its distance from the ground. The unattended ground sensor (UGS), which is built on an ADAPT core, is relaying flight instructions to the UAV. The standard control interface was actually removed entirely for the test.The UGS is a small cylinder housing the specialized sensor kit. An ADAPT core running Android is plugged into the sensor package to operate the vehicle. DARPA believes this demo could lead to ADAPT being integrated into any number of ISR designs.ADAPT could lead to faster and more efficient deployment of technology in the military, but the sensors could find their way into consumer electronics at some point as well. For now, DARPA is considering designing more reference platforms to show what ADAPT cores can do in other sensor situations.