[Canberrauav] Multiple vehicles in flight for Medical Express

Joshua Smallwood joshuasmallwood at yahoo.com.au
Thu Feb 26 20:50:32 AEDT 2015

I'm one of the guys from the ADFA / UNSW Canberra OBC team - we're all very excited to partake in the Medical Express challenge, but in order to keep things simple we've been coming up with concepts that might reduce the complexity of our required system. A couple of concepts we're hoping to explore involve multiple airborne vehicles, or devices.

Obviously the rules haven't been released yet, but for those who partook in the fly-off last year, did you get any vibes that such things might be getting looked at? That is, were they having any concerns of say, the command of just a single UAV during the fly-off, or of excessive workload for the judges attempting to monitor a team's attempt?

The reason we ask is that while we're waiting for the rules like everyone else, a lot of our concepts revolve around reusing our current equipment; one team member for example is advocating a VTOL Mugin (Osprey style), but if possible I would personally like to avoid that level of mechanical complexity. Two concepts that we're interested in is:

1. Having the Mugin as a mothership; it scans the landing area (perhaps simply just by sending back imagery to be processed in something like Pix4DMapper free and then cross-referenced with GPS geotagged imagery), airdrops a multirotor (that is built to only need to do the pickup and fly the ~10-15km back) provides a communications relay for the multirotor (we're considering a gimballed / rotary directional antenna for the Mugin for better comms back to the ground station).

2. Have the Mugin precision-drop a special container next to the person; the human puts the blood sample in the container, then either the human or perhaps a remote operator triggers a gas canister which inflates a balloon, tethered to the canister. The Mugin spots the balloon (perhaps it's an unusual colour) and then catches it, taking it and the canister down below for ride back to home (where perhaps the Mugin simply lets go of it); ala the Skyhook: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPUPOTczy7I

We feel these methods could potentially save us a lot of time and effort over having to do something like a VTOL / STOL fixed wing, or for a new rotary system (if we go rotary, we're likely going to go for a proper helicopter due to increased efficiencies and the use of petrol / nitro energy density. Obviously these concepts wouldn't be easy, but we do want a challenge, and due to the experience and education levels of our members, we're better at systems integration rather than ground-up development of aerodynamic systems, etc.



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