Unmanned Aircraft Systems Challenge
The IMechE Unnamed Aircraft Systems challenge is an international competition which asks undergraduates to undertake a full design and build cycle of a UAS with specific mission objectives from September 2016 – before competing in a final ‘fly-off’ and judging in the Summer of 2017.
Students work as a team to manufacture, develop, test, and then compete against other teams at IMechE UAS events. All of this has to be done within a limited budget and to strict safety guidelines.
We’re delighted to have won this year’s challenge. It's been extremely rewarding to be a part of such a talented and motivated team. I've learnt an awful lot and gained hugely valuable experience that I will take forward with me through my career.
Alex Taylor, Team leader
System requirements of the UAS include the ability to operate completely autonomously. Tasked with flying a representative humanitarian mission, it must also be able to: identify a drop zone on the ground using image recognition, accurately drop two 1-kg aid packages within the identified area and safely land.
This competition bridges the gap between academia and industry having been designed to give students exposure to a number of disciplines that they will need in their engineering careers.
The AUS System must possess the following characteristics.
- Elegant and efficient design
- Safety and airworthiness
- Complete autonomy
- Sustainability for manufacture
- Low cost
- Environmentally friendly
- Viable operational system
Loughborough’s UAS team is student led, with guidance and support from academic and technical staff. This means that the team is not only responsible for producing a brand new AUS System every year, but also all finances, health and safety and the business side of manufacturing an Unmanned Aircraft System.