The 2019 UAV Challenge kicks off in Calvert

The 2019 UAV Challenge event started today in Calvert, Queensland, Australia. This year the event is a high-school only Airborne Delivery Challenge competition. Teams from around Australia and around the World are invited to develop and demonstrate a UAV-based system to deliver Outback Joe lifesaving medical supplies. This year we had 14 teams qualify for the event including teams from Queensland, the ACT and California.

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The Marvels (left) and the Mojave Hawks (right)

The day started, as do all UAV Challenge events, with a briefing before teams took it in turns to present their proposed solutions to Aerospace industry judges. Teams were also scrutineered to ensure their aircraft were safe and the remote pilots in charge were capable of flying safely. The judges and scrutineers work hard all day and by about 2pm it was clear from the progress scores that this is going to be a tight competition this year.

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The Wrong Brothers (left) and progress scores (right)

The rain that had greeted teams on their arrival cleared by lunchtime and competition flying began. By the end of the day, six teams had flown their first missions, leaving 8 teams to complete their first flights tomorrow morning. With a bit of luck, all teams will get a chance for a second flight tomorrow too.

The UAV Challenge in 2019 and 2020 is supported and sponsored by the Queensland Government, Insitu Pacific and Boeing, Northrop Grumman, the Australian Government’s Department of Defence, CASA, the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems, Nova Systems and QinetiQ. It is co-organised by CSIRO’s Data61 and the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

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