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Student team win big in Unmanned Aircraft Systems challenge

A group of ten Aeronautical Engineering MEng students have won four out of ten awards at this year’s IMechE Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) challenge competition.

Competing against 17 other teams from around the world, the students from Loughborough University were crowned Overall Grand Champions and received a further three awards for Best Design, Best Manufacturing and Best Flight Operations.

The challenge, held earlier this month, tasks teams of undergraduates to design and build an unmanned aircraft system to fly a representative humanitarian mission. System requirements include the ability to operate completely autonomously,  identify a drop zone using image recognition, accurately drop two 1-kg aid packages within the identified area, and land.

Teams were marked on the quality of the whole engineering process, including engineering design and analysis. Also taken into consideration was the quality of manufacture and safety, the professionalism of the team and the quality of in-flight operations.

The students representing the University at the competition were Chris Brook, James Draper, Ryan Edwards, Zhanet Ivanova, James Lyall, James Mccann, Frank Rodford, Andrew Smith, Alex Taylor, Narshil Vaghjiani.

Alex Taylor, Team Leader of Loughborough's team, said: “We’re delighted to have won. It's been extremely rewarding to be a part of such a talented and motivated team of people. I've learnt an awful lot and gained hugely valuable experience that I will take forward with me through my career.”

You can watch a video of their winning flight here: https://vimeo.com/173798272