T3 Contest, Round 2--UPDATE: Deadline extended (and new contest previewed)

[UPDATE: This one proved a bit harder than we thought, so we're going to extend the deadline by two weeks, to 12:00 midnight PST on Sunday, October 18th.

Also, here's a preview of next month's contest: Break the Stanford team's UAV altitude record of 7,142 feet by doing at least 24 circles with a 300ft climb and descent in each! (This won't really beat his official record, because there won't be an official judge there. But you'll get bragging rights, at least). I'll announce full details on Oct 19th]

The first Trust Time Trial (T3) contest was a great success. Lots of entries, nail-biting competition, awesome performances and lots of learning for all.

Now comes round two. The difference this time are as follows:

--Three laps
--3D waypoints. (must hit altitude targets as well as lat/long)

The prize this time is a Global Hawk kit.

Winning entries must be posted in the comments below by midnight PST on Sunday, October 4th 18th.


1) Must complete the pattern as shown above, totally autonomously. Go into autonomous mode before waypoint 1 and stay in for three laps. The four points are arranged in a square, with 200m on a side (obviously the two diagonal paths are longer). Any aircraft/autopilot allowed. It doesn't matter how close to the waypoints you get, as long as you pass on the outside of them.

2) Altitude must be within +-10m of given altitude at each waypoint. It doesn't matter what your altitude is in between waypoints. All altitudes are either above launch position or the contestant's specified "safety altitude".

3) Fastest time to complete three laps and hit the 3D waypoints wins. Must provide GPS track with timestamps and on-board video. (If you don't have/can't afford a small onboard videocamera like the FlyCamOne 2, we'll let it go this time. But in the future: video or it didn't happen!)

GPS tracks are best achieved with an onboard GPS datalogger, like the i-Blue 747 or smaller Sanav ML-7. But if you don't have one or don't want to add the weight, you can just capture the GPS track from your telemetry stream, although you'll have to figure out how to convert it to KML format to export to Google Earth (see below). If your Ground Control System has a built-in map+track function, a screen shot of that is fine, but it should be possible for people to check to confirm that your leg lengths are at least 200m.

Evidence data should include these four things:

1) Total time, along with aircraft and autopilot used. A photo of the aircraft would be nice.

2) Screen capture of path exported to Google Earth or an equivalent, annotated with waypoints and where autonomy began and ended. :

3) GPS datalog file, any format

4) Onboard video, embedded from YouTube or Vimeo. [Not absolutely required but requested]

Views: 2024

Comment by Andrus Kangro on September 3, 2009 at 10:37pm
Hi, what about entry/exit gates? Should exit be timed when plane crosses line between wp 1 and 3 or when wp1 is at 90 degrees from its current course... or?

Comment by Andrus Kangro on September 3, 2009 at 10:40pm
.. or when entry and exit trajectories cross... ?

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on September 3, 2009 at 10:41pm
Exit is when you pass line between wp1 and 3. Must be within 30m of wp1
Comment by Marty on September 3, 2009 at 11:02pm
Is the closing time right Chris ? doesn't give us a lot of time.

'Winning entries must be posted in the comments below by midnight PST on Sunday, September 4th.'
Comment by CheBuzz on September 3, 2009 at 11:13pm
One day only!!! hahaha

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on September 3, 2009 at 11:17pm
Sorry, October. Now fixed...

Comment by Gary Mortimer on September 3, 2009 at 11:51pm
This one should provide some interesting plots, good luck everyone.

Comment by Bob Moulder on September 4, 2009 at 5:16am
Which AP's are programmable for altitude?

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on September 4, 2009 at 7:23am
All the main APs except for PicoPilot are programmable for altitude, I think. 3D waypoints are a pretty standard feature these days.

Comment by Jesse & Jared on September 4, 2009 at 11:06am
You say the altitude doesn't matter between waypoints. In what area around the waypoint should the +-10m altitude be? Somewhere between the 30m radius of the waypoint? Does the autopilot just need to pass through that altitude in the radius, or does it need to maintain +-10m while in the radius of the waypoint?


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