Outback Challenge about to start

Briefing for the four teams still to be cleared to fly starts in one hours time, 2100 BST or 2000 GMT thats 0600 in Kingaroy.

Flights should start very shortly afterwards.

The only team to actually make it through in one go, passing both the ground test and pilot competency test at the first try, Team Robota fly their challenge attempt at 2200 GMT 0800 local at Kingaroy.

Max is streaming video from the start.

Team details and video link here
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  • Hi Nick! I can't actually remember what Roland said, not enough sleep I guess. But the autonomous/RC switching was the most popular theory going around, so I though it was worth offering up for discussion.

  • Hi all, Skylight UAS is about to go up, live video up soon
  • T3
    Wow!! So did Rolland *actually* say that they switched to autonomous mode, and the plane started switching rapidly between auto and manual modes?? I once had my XtremeStick behave exactly like that, except it was all in manual mode, and it was r/c glitching. I think I even posted that video on youtube (it had a RVOSD onboard). The result was exactly the same behaviour, rapid/violent banking which also resulted rapid altitude loss and a crash. My conclusion at the time was that I had left my plane outside overnight, and *just maybe* moisture precipitated on the r/c receiver.
  • T3
    Has anybody measured windspeed?
  • Moderator
    Ok heres the latest from the field from Andrew Dunlop

    Skylight are apparently ready to go and scheduled for 0730 this morning.

    The descent of Latitude's beautiful Penguin UAV was gut-wrenching to watch. Apparently it was switching in an uncontrolled manner between RC and autonomous modes, resulting in the banking one way and then the other. The damage is mostly to the airframe - none of the innards were damaged.

    MUROC had engine issues. Their petrol engine cut out during scrutineering, forcing the pilot to execute a very slick deadstick landing, which left the judges in no doubt about his piloting skills. But for reasons not yet known they were down on power, and the autopilot could not maintain a heading into the wind with the power available, and the organisers requested the UAV abandon the mission and return, which it did.
  • Moderator
    Um I'm not sure and I was asleep for their run, certainly if you look behind them its a forbidding sky and as Marc says there certainly was enough wing to blow T shirts. I will get further intelligence as they all start waking up now!! I am sort of hoping they will let other teams have a crack, they have had two days to patch things up. I hear there were all sorts of dramas for the teams that did'nt make it. Things that worked hundreds of times before just refusing too on the day. This competition sets the bar high and the safety standards really have jumped.Pointing to where day to day operation should be. I did'nt scour much Ustream, its how Max left it. He has also been recording in HD and will make a compilation when its all finished.
  • Hi Chris,

    The behaviour of the aircraft looks like autopilot control with problems in wind compensation. You could see that there was lots of wind earlier. You would have to adapt the navigational gain (outer loop) to the wind automatically reducing the gain, otherwise you get these oscillations...
    I just wonder why they did not take it back to manual...
  • 3D Robotics
    Great report, Gary! You must have watched a lot of Ustream to make those clips. Really well presented.

    Crazy crash for Latitude38. Do you think that was under RC or autopilot control? They were flying a UNAV 3500 autopilot.
  • Moderator
    Here's what happened
  • Moderator
    Yep he did, after a rather interesting launch as well. I also hear latitude 38 crashed on the airfield.
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