Spitfire76

In Search of Outback Joe - UAV Challenge

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I'm so conflicted, I'm Australian, living in California.

Its great that those California high schoolers got the chance to travel to Australia and win!

Darling Downs is a bit remote, I hope they had the chance to check out the rest of Australia.

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16 hours ago, Av8Chuck said:

I'm so conflicted, I'm Australian, living in California.

You may know this but there are 2 parts to this event, one for high schools teams and one for adult teams called the medical express challenge. "Tridge" from Ardupilot fame is heading the team from CanberraUAV. Its great as teams must design and build there own aircraft, cot uavs not allowed. 

In summary the challenge is to land no more than 10m from "Outback Joe" (mannequin) , pickup his blood samples and fly back to base. The round trip flight path is up to 32 nautical miles and the direct distance from base to aircraft is around 6nm. Now to get radio link to reach that distance a second aircraft can be used as a relay station. The mission also has to be accomplished autonomously. The wining team can win up to A$75,000.

Here is the update from day 4.

https://uavchallenge.org/2018/09/27/day-4-of-the-uav-challenge-2018/

 

 

 

Edited by Spitfire76

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With no teams completing the 2018 UAV challenge I've started to think  what sort of aircraft I would have designed and built to attempt this challenge. 

https://www.cio.com.au/article/647575/outback-joe-speechless-after-no-team-wins-medical-express-uav-challenge/

For a start it would have had to be able to fly a 30 mile round trip within 60 mins which includes a precise landing near outback Joe to retrieve his blood sample. It also has to be capable of VTOL as there is no clear take off or landing area. The radio link is also a challenge as although the mission has to be autonomous, telemetry has to be maintained as well as command override in case of issues. A second aircraft can be used as a communication relay station. I believe most teams used a fixed wing aircraft to achieve the long flight distance although one team had a large multi rotor using an onboard generator. I think the latter was a good choice as its simpler than a VTOL fixed wing design and I would imagine that it could also handle the wind much better than a fixed wing especially during take off and landing. 

Here is a copy of the rules

UAVC Medical Express 2018 Rules V3.pdf

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The outline of the 2020 UAV Challenge medical rescue has been posted. This competition is held every 2 years and are opened to adult teams from around the world.

https://uavchallenge.org/medical-rescue/

Also the UAV challenge rules for high school age students have been posted. This part of the UAV Challenge was started in 2018 and looks like it will happen again this year.

https://uavchallenge.org/high-school/

 

Edited by Spitfire76

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Hi @Spitfire76

Thanks for sharing this, it is a very interesting UAV challenge. I am a senior at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and we had an assignment that was based off the Outback Joe Challenge. We had to choose a platform that we could customize. However, if I remember right our drone had to deliver a bottle of water and medical supplies instead of visual confirmation that Outback Joe was alive. It is cool to see this application outside of my school application. Thanks again for sharing this! 

Best, 

- Chase 

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3 hours ago, Chase Flynn | UAV Coach said:

Hi @Spitfire76

Thanks for sharing this, it is a very interesting UAV challenge. I am a senior at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and we had an assignment that was based off the Outback Joe Challenge. We had to choose a platform that we could customize. However, if I remember right our drone had to deliver a bottle of water and medical supplies instead of visual confirmation that Outback Joe was alive. It is cool to see this application outside of my school application. Thanks again for sharing this! 

Best, 

- Chase 

Hi @Chase Flynn | UAV Coach 

This is the first time that I've studied the rules this early on in the competition and now I am tempted to come up with a design to meet the 2020 challenge. It looks like its going to require 2 aircraft, potentially a fixed wing as the transient craft between the base and the remote accident site that carries a multi-rotor type craft that is deployed to enter the shed to provide the communication between Joe and the medical rescue team that's on route,

Edited by Spitfire76

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