Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering

Undergraduate study

Zeus UAS

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
  • Innovation
  • 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.