Deliverable 1

A Place to post and discuss Deliverable 1 for the Outback Challenge please share! for not just  people competing this year but for those competing in the future!

Deliverable 1:

Deliverable 1 should demonstrate understanding and compliance with the UAV Challenge Medical Express

rules by describing a system that complies with the rules and explaining how it will meet the safety

requirements set out in the rules. The document should refer to the rules where applicable rather than

“cut and paste” of large sections. While a detailed description of the platform/s is interesting, it should not

be at the expense of ensuring that the Technical Committee can assess compliance and safety.

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    • "Currently our D1 is "classified"

      That's the spirit Sam - it is what this contest is all about ..........

    • Hi Stephen

      Wow really? Are you going to have a poke at me for using some humour about not sharing our D1 yet? :-(

      I would have thought that it is self evident from the pages of content about the OBC I've written so far on this thread alone, that sharing, and taking my time to do so, is NOT a problem for me. Even if it is only my perspective on the matter to which some might not agree, I can only write my perspective and not someone else's. Mission safety and the resulting continuance of the contest is my first priority. As you know well I am very risk adverse.

      In regards to it being a contest, the dictionary defines contest as:

      1. 1.
        an event in which people compete for supremacy in a sport or other activity, or in a quality.

      Accordingly, that is what I am striving for as I see the "contest" as the method by which the best ideas succeed. Prematurely sharing ideas before they are fully developed, or not sharing any worthwhile or already existing ideas is not on my agenda. I'm sure that's the intention of the contest organisers as well.

      There's some 50 other teams not sharing here in any form either so what's the problem? In the rules it says that every team can choose to share.


    • My apologies Sam - there are certain aspects of our effort that are not going to be fully shared I guess.  As you read in the D1 we may be using some IP that is not ours to share so we I guess are not being fully open in the way CanberraUAV is.

    • No probs Stephen. :-)

      I'm a bit too sensitive sometimes. I generally agree with the idea to be "open source" provided the ideas are used for a good cause, but sometimes I think shooting those ideas from the hip is not helpful either.

      In regards to CUAV, I can fully agree that at least half of what we do is only possible with their contribution, but in saying that sometimes the learning curve and narrow compatibility inhibits there use as well. Like how we solved imaging etc instead last time.

      But the main thing is we make progress in applying UAV technology beneficially over diverse goals. I think that is in line with the competition objectives as well.

      BTW I figured out what SLIP is! If you don't mind me asking did you manage to get images over the mavproxy serial stream yet? That's something we'll need to dig into this time I think as there's not that much imaging data required to find Joe, so I'm hoping we can manage using the RFD900 with 4G backup.


    • JB and Stephen, very keen to see your developments!

      In regards to the data transmission back to the ground station operators, what is the approximate data rate that you expect to achieve?

      - RFD900+ is rated at a default rate of 64 kbits/sec (250 kbit/sec max), which will take quite a long time for even a single "decent" resolution image to be transmitted back.

      - 433MHz is also off limits for us here in Australia :(.

      - 4G may/may not be existent at the Challenge location, and satellite is too expensive/too slow for anything except for barebones heartbeat messages. 

      - FPV regulations in Australia are too strict to allow anything of enough power to reach the required distance with only 25mW transmit power on the 5.8GHz frequency

      Look forward to hearing your thoughts,


    • Oops forgot the :-)

  • Hi JB,

    We are still working out specifics as we have had some disruption in the team (some leaving and some new ones joining) - VTOL frame is being worked on by another team member, I'm focusing on  support a/c, LZ identification and the overall big picture.  I hope to have it locked in with the actual airframe instead of our prototypes by late December at the latest.

    I now understand what you were getting at, yes I hope that they use some form of reasonable adjustment in the documentation - but it must be reasonable.  However ask yourself this, if the situation is reversed, that is it was from a non English speaking country would the English entrants be at a disadvantage, sadly yes.  The other aspect is what is used in the aviation industry?  It may not make sense as lots of other languages are used by far more people in the world but it was it is.  Remember CASA also has to sign off on it and I'm sure the 20 final teams will have their plans looked at by someone from the RPA team and not just the competition organisers.



  • Hi JB,

    I just think that since my team doesnt have alot of experience in one of the airframes that we are using that we'll keep it light and simple.  If I add a camera and various other items to the retrieval a/c I increase it's weight, this increases it's min speed when flying and increases battery consumption when hovering.  If I can lighten it and reduce the amount of batteries carried, maintain a stable CoG, etc, then I'm reducing the risk of this airframe (less weight will mean less energy if it impacts the ground - it will also be smaller than if we tried to do it all from the one).  By using the 2 a/c I can shift all the other items to an support airframe that we have confidence will be able to do the mission, plus keep a situational awareness.  When things go wrong they often go wrong faster than we can react but I'd sure like to know my planes gone down that wondering, where is it, it should have phoned home by now.  Like I say we all have our views.....

    Exactly, we all need to be comfortable as do the organsiers (and CASA).

    It is interesting that they dont have specific points for image recognition, point clouds, etc.....  They are wanting the objective met but how you do it is up to the teams.  Rather than giving a scripted response they are letting us think how we want to solve the problem.  One of the areas they are looking at is not only achieving the goal but also how this stuff is positioned in the future.  Sure we can fly x distance away land remotely and pickup the item but how does this make it's way into a practical application.  If left where it is then it is harder to go any further, by getting people to produce a professional document it means that others out there may look at it and take notice.  For example in a volunteer emergency service I belong to, they knew nothing of this competition, I've mentioned it and they are wow that's pretty cool and it's in our area too.  They are looking at 5 years from now what can we do - they feel it doesn't meet our current operational requirements yet, if we don't have polished documents I don't think industry / government will be as ready to understand and jump on the wagon so to speak.  Remember one of the direct aims of the comp is to push along this technology and it's adoption rate.  Some may say the polished stuff can come afterwards, true but this means it fits with the research aspect if its done as part of the comp.  Think in terms of research, a good idea can die from a bad research paper, an average idea can really grow with a well written research paper.  

    My team will just work towards the goal and follow the rules and if that happens to align with the scoring great, we aren't hunting the points so to speak since this is my teams first crack at the event and we'd rather successfully fly on the day than focus our energy on the points and risk tripping up along the way.  We are in this for the experience rather than winning.


    • Hi Chris

      Sounds like a good strategy, but if I may ask how heavy is your camera/recognition gear? Our whole avionic package last time with onboard recog/camera/comm/PXH etc was only 500g. This time it will probably be another 150g lighter again. If you take out imaging and leave what's required for flight control (PXH, Radios etc) then we only save another 200g. For us that's less than a 10% saving overall on the aircraft, so not much at all, nothing that can't be overcome with a bit of battery reserve. BTW we're planning on taking two aircraft too, but more as a complete backup and possible comms relay if on the day it's required to fly as well.

      In regards to the hovering I'd recommend doing some tests to figure out just how long the VTOL procedure takes and you'll probably see that one only needs around 2-3minutes of hovering in comparison to 40-50min of cruise flight, and budget battery consumption accordingly. We found that it helped considerably to design it as a VTOL "hopper", that way you can get takeoff around 20-30sec.

      Overall it takes some time, which I'm sure you'll have plenty of when you need to do the logs for D3, to get used to the aircraft doing it's "thing" autonomously. Once that happens many peoples perspective changes on what they trust the system with, it did with us.


      In regards to my comments regarding the deliverables, from memory I don't think they are published at all by the organisers or used further for research. However, the point I was trying to make is that it will be hard to differentiate between which teams make it through (if there is over 20) just from the 15 points in D2, especially if we don't exactly know their score weighting. Each point is calculated in fractions and I'm expecting some humdinger deliverables from some teams that we need to compete with.

      I know for a fact that some international teams struggle with the language requirements, which in turn affects every component of the document they produce for score, for lack of good translation if nothing else, whereas in some cases these teams systems are far more advanced than the systems some English speaking teams will be using. The point is that if the challenge is to promote the technology and not just the English speaking ones, then this needs to be reflected in the Deliverables selection somehow, otherwise the competition stands to loose some of the best competitors. 

      So my position is that I'm concerned that the competition will be won or lost with the paperwork of the deliverables rather than with each teams capability to successfully accomplish the mission. I've seen the best deliverables make it through with a barely flight capable airframe (in fact some dropped out in the last minute because of it). It would be a shame for the competition to head down that path and that the teams with the "best" yarn skills get through.

      Anyway's that's my two cents.

      Regards JB

  • The CanberraUAV D1 can be read on our site:

    Open Source Civilian UAV Development
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