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AUVSI SUAS Competition

And here we go again… competition #2: the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Student Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS) competition. This competition is in Maryland in the US.

Learning from our trip to Quebec, we arrived at the airport 4 hours early this time. Because of this, and because the airport was practically empty - only overnight flights were left - baggage check in went smoothly. Our crates were 68 and 70 pounds with the limit being 70. Some of our checked luggage was 48 and 49 pounds, with the limit (to avoid a fee) being 50. We had to show Air Canada their own rules on maximum luggage size though. Before we did this, they were telling us the maximum sizes to avoid the oversize fee as if those were the absolute limits. They were very friendly and helpful though, especially considering our complex situation.

We’re currently waiting for our flight which should leave at 1:00 am. Hopefully we’ll get sleep in the air since by the time we get to Washington, it’ll be 10:00 AM.

Cindy and Arshad waiting at the airport

As for technical aspects, we’ve been working hard on our system for the past month and a half. We did lots of flight testing, but damaged the plane twice and spent a lot of time trying to get neutral IMU values. We’ve fixed our plane and have relatively reliable stabilized flight, but haven’t achieved fully autonomous flight yet. As for imaging, we’ve made a lot of progress. Images are now reliably transferred over FTP and the ground imaging GUI can load them up as they come in. We still need to work on our geo-referencing algorithm. Pictures taken during flight testing showed that this can be off by over 50 meters. We’ll be working on this over the next day or two as well as enabling telemetry over Wi-Fi so that we can show off our redundant link software.

The damage to our motor after a failed takeoff

Dr. Duncan Elliott holding the plane while testing the camera configuration

We’re looking forward to arriving in Maryland (and the comfy beds in our hotel) as well as the competition itself. Expect a new post around once a day until the competition is done. Also, feel free to leave comments below, ask questions, or initiate any other type of discussion. We’d love to hear who’s reading this blog and are able to post specific content based on what you’re interested in.

Emmanuel looking forward to the hotel in Maryland