Here we go again!
Same place, same time in 2018, and mostly the same rules!
The main differences to last years event are:
- 3 separate prizes depending on level of achievement
- $25,000 for completing the mission with the highest points
- $25,000 for using type 2 autonomy (now being redefined as "no controller/user interference, but with constant comms link to controller)
- $25,000 to avoid Dynamic No Fly Zones (details yet to be disclosed)
- Manual hand launches are no longer considered autonomous (excluding them from getting type 2 prize)
- Layout of course is different, with only the first two waypoints needing to be completed in order and the inclusion of no fly zones
Still the same:
- Range and VTOL required to pickup the blood sample from the remote landing site
- Aircraft size allowances, propulsion etc
- Geofence requirements (addition of no fly zones)
- Comms required when retrieval aircraft is on the ground at remote landing site (ADS-B transponders might be introduced)
Overall it seems like the biggest change in comparison to the last one in 2016 is the emphasis on, and the extra prizes for automation. The aircraft platforms are the same, so our last one should work fine.
Time to start building...or should I say coding? :-)
Link to OBC site: https://uavchallenge.org/medical-express/
Link to rules: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5JgqjkRDqw8SHkyUUU1NDZTaDQ/view
I'm also in Australia but on the other side in WA. We've been to the competition a few times now and there's quite a bit to learn and to achieve in a short amount of time, in order to make it there through the deliverable process, and to actually be successful at completing the mission.
I'd suggest that you would need at a minimum 3-4 people to form a team, depending on the level of commitment and time they can invest into the competition. The more people, the more that needs to be managed as a team, but also typically the more hours that can be spent optimizing solutions.
This time around the competition offers more prize money for autonomy, however the aircraft platform is still a challenge as well, unless you have access to a 70km range aircraft that can VTOL (vertically takeoff and land). There's all the usual comms, autopilot and mission planning issues, along with a bunch of compliance etc that has to be overcome. And despite the 19 months until the event, you'd be surprised how much time it takes to meet the requirements to even get there, let alone be competitive.
But in saying that, it is most definitely a rewarding experience, provided you can commit both the time and resources to meet your "fixed" milestones along the way. :-)
To help newcomers out, PerthUAV was looking at releasing the information on how to build our previous OBC VTOL platform for other teams to benefit from, along with a guide of how-to's from hardware and software selection and configuration to development priorities and planning. All of which can be achieved on a hobby budget of about $1500 per OBC capable airframe, depending on configuration. We obviously don't offer any guarantees that you will win, or are suggesting in any way that it is a "plug n play" system, but we think it will be a welcomed head start for many so that they can get a competitive platform built fairly quickly and make it to the competition.
If you are interested PM me.
I'd like to get in touch with any Australia (preferably Victoria) based folks with experience in the UAV Challenge with a view to putting a team together. Really looking for help with the process of getting deliverables together, understanding the nuance of the competition requirements and also any coding experience would be welcome!