Good news - we have just arrived in Alma, Quebec for the Unmanned Systems Canada Student UAV Competition. The past few days leading up to competition have been both hectic and tiring as we struggled to get systems in good working order, to pack our plane and tools, and to rest up to be in good traveling shape.
Our plane disassembled and packed in its crate
We met at the airport this morning at 4:30am and promptly discovered that one and a half hours was not enough to make it to the gate at a comfortable time for our 6am flight. Re-packing our spare items into checked baggage and processing our two large oversized crates were both extremely time-consuming, and we just made it in time for boarding. Fortunately, the remainder of our trip by air to Montreal went well, and we were able to drop off our crates to be shipped and promptly get our rental car.
Cameron and Sheldon feeling optimistic
Our crates, finally arrived at Montreal
One of the major things that we got done during the trip was creating a complete flight plan specific to the airfield in Alma. This included defining the perimeter of the competition field in our autopilot software, determining the flight altitude, and creating takeoff and landing waypoints. We also worked on refining the ground station imaging system and on our Technical Presentation.
Tomorrow, we perform both our Technical Presentation and Flight Readiness Reviews, both major contributors to our overall score. These are critical for giving judges an overview of our systems and for ensuring flight safety prior to the first day of competition flight on Saturday.