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!

Views: 1331

Comment by Graham Dyer on March 15, 2010 at 9:56am
emailed it, no probs, have just emailed it again to your wired address
Comment by Petr Hubacek on March 16, 2010 at 5:05am
what a pity I am from 6000 miles far abroad. If i send my drone alone, will you accept it for the competition? I'll return home just after crossing the finish line :-)

Comment by Gary Mortimer on March 16, 2010 at 5:46am
Well I think its well done Brian!!

Not only for winning this round but beginning to pull ahead of the back in the T3 league, which will probably take us about 5 years to complete ;-)

After round 5 the virtual Sparkfun.

Brian Wolfe 31
Vassilis 24
Brakar 23
Mark Griffin 18
Krzysztof Bosak 17
Andrus Kangro 12
Jesse Jared 8
Bill Premerlani 6
MarcS 6
Joe 6
Steve Joyce 5
Steve Westerfield 3
Chris Anderson 3
Icebear 1

Comment by Brian Wolfe on March 16, 2010 at 9:43am
A shallow victory this one. A shame more people couldn't/chose not to participate. I had planed on doing another run but without the imputes of competition I found myself getting the data logging to the onboard micro SD card working instead (yaaa).

Chris and Jason turned in a great 11th hour run.

Now that weather is improving hopfully we'll get more turnout for the next one. I think it shold be looked at as less a serious competion and more an excuse to get out and try some things.


Comment by Krzysztof Bosak on March 19, 2010 at 6:01am
The weather killed all.

Comment by Doug Weibel on March 19, 2010 at 7:11am
@kryz No, I had adequate weather. I am just 2 weeks behind as always. Confident I could turn in a winning time in the next 10 days. Of course it is snowing hard right now and not suppose to stop for 24 hours....... Maybe it was the weather ;)

Comment by Mark Colwell on March 19, 2010 at 7:32am
I did get a good flight in yesterday, but not in AUTO, I'm on track for Sf competition..


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Season Two of the Trust Time Trial (T3) Contest 
A list of all T3 contests is here. The current round, the Vertical Horizontal one, is here

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