UAV Challenge Diary (Day 1)

By | September 27, 2016

Today was a very long, very exciting day.

We started at 7:30am with team registrations and safety briefings. It was really good to meet the other teams (in many cases saying hello to familiar faces from previous competitions).

The rest of the day was spent with scrutineering (the judges checking our UAV’s are safe to fly). In total 8 teams passed. Of the original 10 teams, one 1 pulled out due to a crash a few days ago. Another (international) team still had their UAV stuck in customs and were waiting for it to be released and transported to Dalby (was delivered by the end of the day; will be scrutineered tomorrow).

Our scrutineering went well. We had one issue of a particular geofence test (with all engines running on the ground) being unable to be demonstrated, but a quick patch by Tridge fixed all that.

The afternoon was spent assisting the other teams (as required) debug their systems. I spent a few hours helping to debug an issue where the NMEA GPS stream from a few teams ground station software¬†was not compatible with the judge’s systems. Turns out the (common) software they were using was not formatting the NMEA stream correctly. A quick message to the ground station software’s author and a fixed version was released a few hours later.

The evening was spent creating the actual mission (waypoints, etc) and running simulations.

Tomorrow begins to competition flights. CanberraUAV is 2nd last in the team ordering, so it’s likely that we’ll be flying late Wednesday or sometime Friday. Thursday is likely to be called off due to bad forecast weather.