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Graham and Martin Fox have given a lot of their time in assisting the students and accompanied them to the competition

Below is John Newton's (Aeronautical Technical Tutor from the university) Report on the event

I’m delighted to report the exceptional performance of 10 of our Aeronautical Engineering MEng final year students who participated in the iMechE’s first “UAS Challenge” competition (http://www.imeche.org/knowledge/industries/aerospace/auasc) on 1 and 2 July at Bruntingthorpe airfield, in which they won 2 awards: the “Design Award” and the “Most Viable Business Proposition Award”.

The challenge asks teams of undergraduates to design and build an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to fly a representative humanitarian mission, identify a drop zone on the ground using an on-board camera, and then parachute a 1kg aid package, all of which must be done automatically (that is, with no manual control). The video below shows the completely automated flight from take off to landing. Parachute drop is at 1.35.

 

Loughborough’s team of students competed against 14 other universities from around the UK. They were the only team to successfully fly the complete mission at the event. However, due to the extreme heat (35°C) on the airfield on Wednesday during their scheduled assessment slot, their motor battery discharged more quickly than expected, resulting in power loss and minor damage on landing. This was the only flight that the judges could consider in their assessment for the competition. Despite this, the team worked hard overnight to repair the damage, and were allowed a second attempt the following day on Thursday (which was not assessed). This time they flew the mission with ease, flying the course, successfully identifying the drop zone with their image processing algorithms, and dropping the payload, all automatically. This performance was by far the most successful flight of the competition, leagues ahead of the nearest competitor, although unfortunately this flight could not be considered in the judging.

The team’s technical abilities, practical skills, team work and professionalism were impressive to everyone. They were a credit to themselves and to the university. Team members: Mark Baxter, Ben Burslem, Ben Chase, Jonathan Cooper, Fidel Fernandez, Charles Hyndman, Manoj Patel, Luke Rank, Ben Robinson, Ben Thorpe

UAS Team