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Aeronautical Engineering MEng students win two awards in the iMechE’s first UAS Challenge competition

Ten, final year Aeronautical Engineering MEng students, won the Design and Most Viable Business Proposition Awards at the iMechE’s first UAS Challenge competition.

Held on 1-2 July at Bruntingthorpe airfield, the challenge asks teams of undergraduates to design and build an unmanned aircraft system to fly a representative humanitarian mission. They had to identify a drop zone on the ground using an on-board camera, and parachute a 1kg aid package - all of which must be done automatically with no manual control.

Representing the University were Mark Baxter, Ben Burslem, Ben Chase, Jonathan Cooper, Fidel Fernandez, Charles Hyndman, Manoj Patel, Luke Rank, Ben Robinson, Ben Thorpe

Loughborough’s team of students competed against 14 other universities from around the UK. They were the only group to successfully fly the complete mission at the event.

The extreme heat meant that the team encountered a small setback as the motor battery on their aircraft discharged a lot quicker than expected resulting in minor damage on the assessment day. However the team worked hard to repair the fault and completed the mission successfully the following day.

Dr Christopher Harvey, Lecturer in Structural Mechanics, said: “The team’s technical abilities, practical skills, team work and professionalism were impressive to everyone. They were a credit to themselves and to the University.”

The video of the Loughborough team’s automatic flight is available to watch here.