UAV Challenge Diary (Day 2)

By | September 28, 2016

The UAV Challenge organisers did a really good writeup of today’s events: https://uavchallenge.org/2016/09/28/day-2-of-medical-express-2016/

For my part, I’ll just add a few bits from CanberraUAV’s perspective.

We spent most the morning and early afternoon running final checks on our equipment and planning our ground station placement in the field. We also noted the wind direction and tweaked parts of the Quadporter’s takeoff/landing sequence to be into the wind.

Other than that we nervously waited and watched the other teams being called. By time the 3rd team was called up we realised the pace of the competition was higher than we thought – the chances of us flying today were looking increasingly higher.

Our flying time ended up being around 3pm-4pm. There was a light breeze, which was fine for us.

Setup for our mission went smoothly (apart of a bit a messing around with the NMEA stream to the organisers, and the camera on the Gaui not working). Takeoff of both Quadporter and Gaui went quite smoothly.

The Quadporter entered the search area first and started looking for Joe. The Gaui arrived a minute later and began it’s pre-programmed search pattern (despite the lack of camera). Soon after starting this, the Gaui reported a loss of engine power and auto-rotated to the ground (impacting the ground at approx 25m/s).

The organisers were then kind enough to let us continue the mission (noting that we were now out of the running for the full $50,000 prize). After some time searching the imagery for Joe (he was quite difficult to spot), we found him! The judges confirmed that our position of Joe was accurate and we then landed safely at the remote site.

After the blood sample was loaded, the Quadporter took off and returned to base. At this point we were running behind schedule and pushed up the Quadporter’s speed for the return journey.

We landed safely back at the base site. And that was the end of our mission!

Tomorrow has the remaining teams flying, subject to weather.