For the fifth T3 (Trust Time Trial) contest, we've got an easy and fun one: set the best time for a virtual Sparkfun Autonomous Vehicle Competition course. The real Sparkfun contest will be held on April 17th in Boulder, Colorado, and is simply the fastest time for an autonomous vehicle to do one lap around the company's headquarters (shown above). The DIY Drones team won it last year in a time of 35 seconds, and we (and other DIY Drones community members) will be entering this year, too.

Your mission is to program your UAV to fly a pattern around a rectangle the size of the Sparkfun HQ (dimensions shown above). One lap, fastest time wins. The rules don't say anything about takeoff or landing, so you can cross the start line (shown in the picture) at full speed and it doesn't matter what happens after you cross the finish line. Altitude is up to you, but stay below 400ft, as always, and I'd recommend staying above 100ft to avoid the evil trees!

I expect that competition will come down to fractions of a second. Since most GPS loggers only record a position once per second, you'll need to interpolate between timestamps for both the start and finish time. The way to do this is to draw a line from the pointy bottom tip of two adjacent Google Earth pushpin markers. Estimate how far along that line the start or finish lines cross, and apply that fraction to estimate the real time. This illustration gives an example:

Please show these calculations on your KML path image.

BTW, it would be cool to have a model of the Sparkfun HQ to place in Google Earth so you can display your path around a "real" building. Your Chief T3 Judge, Gary Mortimer, has issued a call for a volunteer to make that model, so when one of you rises to the challenge I'll post it here for all to use.

Same submission rules as always. Submit time, autopilot and airframe, and KML track (both screenshot image and raw data) as evidence in the comments below. Video very much appreciated but not required.

Deadline Wed, March 14th, 12:00 midnight PST.

Gentlemen, start your engines!

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Comment by Mark Griffin on January 27, 2010 at 3:12pm
Does it mean "Give Way to UAV's"
Comment by brakar on January 28, 2010 at 1:14am
Mark, there was a misspelling, should have been "yield". Aparantly even those native to the english language have not agreed on this.

From Wikipedia:
"In road transport, a YIELD (Canada, Ireland, and the United States) or GIVE WAY (Hong Kong and most Commonwealth countries) traffic sign indicates that a vehicle driver must prepare to stop if necessary to let a driver on another approach proceed."

Comment by Gary Mortimer on February 1, 2010 at 12:30pm
Blimey the entries are pouring in for this one.

Comment by steve kloppenburg on February 1, 2010 at 12:51pm
hey guys is there any way i can re-read the previous competitions? i never got a chance to look at the entries and comments...


3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on February 1, 2010 at 12:55pm
Yes, it's all here. Just search for T3

Comment by steve kloppenburg on February 1, 2010 at 1:19pm
oh too easy... thanks chris, one more stupid question... is the code functional for elevons? I think I remember Jordi had it on his fun jet. I want to change my platform.

thanks guys!

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on February 1, 2010 at 1:21pm
We haven't tested elevons recently, but I'll do that over the next few weeks now that I have an elevon plane.

Comment by steve kloppenburg on February 1, 2010 at 4:24pm
GREAT, I will start my transfer now and hopefully you will work out the bugs ;-)

Comment by Gary Mortimer on February 10, 2010 at 11:56pm
I feel competiton creep about to come on again. Or do we keep the deadline as it is and expect a flood of entries on the 2nd.

Come on somebody post a time that the entrants on the day will struggle to beat.
Comment by Adam Barrow on February 11, 2010 at 12:01am
I'd love to post my amazing 20 second time, but unfortunately, the weather here needs to clear up a bit first :(. Either that, or I need to start working on putting my UDB into a flying boat that won't mind the epic downpours which remind everyone of Noah's struggles. On the upside, forecasters are saying that next week will be clear... but we all know how that story goes.


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