Unmanned Aircraft Systems Competition Launched

30 May 2014

A competition looking to engage teams of aerospace engineering undergraduates in the design, construction, development and demonstration of an Automatic Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is about to be launched by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). The Universities Unmanned Aircraft Systems Challenge is open to teams from any UK university and is also looking for support from industry to sponsor the competition and support the university teams with technical advice.

This year’s challenge for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems is to address the issue of delivering humanitarian aid in a disaster area. To accomplish this the UAS must be designed to operate autonomously, performing a series of tasks such as area search, navigating waypoints, accurately delivering a payload and returning to base via a defined route.

The UAS challenge will be held over the duration of the 2014/15 academic year, commencing in September 2014, with a flight demonstration being held at a suitable venue in June 2015 (venue TBC). The academic year will be divided into design, development and demonstration phases, with a design review presentation contributing to the scoring, as well as the flying demonstration.

Stirling’s R&D Manager, Dr. Simon Hancock became involved in the UAS competition earlier in the year when approached by the Institution to join the Working Group who were tasked with helping to develop the competition. Simon commented that, “it is so important to the development of future aeronautical engineers that organisations like the Institution of Mechanical Engineers run interactive, hands-on challenges like this. This is a huge opportunity for engineering undergraduates for personal and professional development, which will enable them to put into practice what they have learnt in the classroom”.

A launch event will be taking place on Thursday June 12th at the Helicopter Museum, Weston-super-Mare.For more information on the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Universities Unmanned Aircraft Systems Challenge, please contact Rachel Pearson (R_Pearson@imeche.org)