Northrop Grumman – Gold sponsor of the 2018 UAV Challenge


The UAV Challenge organisers gratefully acknowledge the Gold sponsorship of Northrop Grumman for the 2018 UAV Challenge. Northrop Grumman have been a key supporter of the UAV Challenge and their continued support is great to see. As a leading producer of unmanned systems, Northrop Grumman supports multiple education initiatives designed to create interest and opportunities for students from around the world to learn more about engineering, science and math that makes these technologies possible. Learn more about the company’s innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization at Thanks Northrop Grumman.


Lockheed Martin – Gold sponsor of the 2018 UAV Challenge

Lockheed MartinThe UAV Challenge organisers gratefully acknowledge the Gold sponsorship of Lockheed Martin for the 2018 UAV Challenge. Lockheed Martin have been long time sponsors and supporters of the UAV Challenge. Headquartered in Canberra, Lockheed Martin Australia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Lockheed Martin Australia and its related entities employ more than 800 people in Australia and New Zealand working on a wide range of major programmes spanning the aerospace, defence, maritime and civil sector. Lockheed Martin is a global technology leader who recognises that Australia needs a constant supply of highly trained, highly capable technical talent. Thanks Lockheed Martin.

MathWorks – Bronze sponsor of the 2018 UAV Challenge

mathworks-titleThe UAV Challenge organisers gratefully acknowledge the Bronze Sponsorship of Mathworks for the 2018 UAV Challenge. MathWorks has been a frequent sponsor of the UAV Challenge events over the past ten years and is now firmly part of the UAV Challenge family. MathWorks is the leading developer of mathematical computing software. MATLAB, the language of technical computing, is a programming environment for algorithm development, data analysis, visualisation, and numeric computation. Simulink is a graphical environment for simulation and Model-Based Design of multidomain dynamic and embedded systems. Engineers and scientists worldwide rely on these product families to accelerate the pace of discovery, innovation, and development in automotive, aerospace, electronics, financial services, biotech-pharmaceutical, and other industries. MathWorks products are also fundamental teaching and research tools in the world’s universities and learning institutions. Founded in 1984, MathWorks employs more than 3000 people in 15 countries, with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, USA. Thanks Mathworks.

Beyond Visual Line of Sight approval granted for Medical Express


Canberra UAV’s retrieval aircraft competing in the 2016 Medical Express event in Dalby, Queensland.

Some great news today. We received our approval to operate the 2018 UAV Challenge Medical Express event as a Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operation. The approval comes from Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and allows the operation of unmanned aircraft in a more realistic scenario than ever before. In previous years we have operated the flight area with a large number of range marshals who remain in visual contact of the competing aircraft. With the new BVLOS procedures, the mission reflects better the reality of how medical package retrieval missions will operate in the future in the real-world.

The UAV Challenge has maintained a great working relationship with CASA over the history of the event and it is very pleasing that we are now at the point where competitors will get to experience real BVLOS missions. We thank CASA for their ongoing assistance in showing the world how unmanned aircraft technology can be used for the benefit of us all.

Deliverable 3 decisions for Medical Express 2018

ME-qualifiersThe UAV Challenge Technical Committee has reviewed the Deliverable 3 documents and videos and today have sent their decisions to the teams. Thirteen teams are still in the competition with all of those teams receiving Go decisions by the Technical Committee. This is a record number of teams passing the D3 milestone. Three teams were given No-Go decisions. The teams that qualified come from Australia (3), Poland (3), Thailand (2), The Netherlands, Canada, India, Pakistan and China.

The list of teams (In alphabetical order) is as follows:

CanberraUAV (Australia)
Forward Robotics (Canada)
GHC UAV Club (China)
Griffin UAV (Thailand)
High Flyers (Poland)
ISAAC UAV (Thailand)
JetStream (Poland)
LUMS UAV (Pakistan)
MAVlab TUDelft (Netherlands)
MelAvio (Poland)
Monash UAS (Australia)
West Coast UAV (Australia)

The Technical Committee are excited by the quality of the teams progressing and look forward to an excellent competition in Dalby.

National Drone Safety Forum at WoDC 2018


Presentation and panel discussion. Left to right: Julieanne Alroe (Chair of Infrastructure Australia), Jonathan Roberts (QUT), Scott Duffy (Civil Aviation Safety Authority). Photos: QUT

The National Drone Safety Forum (Australia) took place today at the 2018 World of Drones Congress event in Brisbane, Australia. The first talk of the day was titled Safe Flying at the UAV Challenge and was given by UAV Challenge Head Judge, Jonathan Roberts. Other  talks in the session included Harmonizing the Global Aviation Regulatory Environment by David Hansell (Facebook), and Drone issues and Airports by Julieanne Alroe (Chair of Infrastructure Australia). This was followed by a Q&A session that included Scott Duffy (Civil Aviation Safety Authority). The UAV Challenge is very grateful to the organisers of the World of Drones Congress for the opportunity to speak.

Queensland Drone Strategy features the UAV Challenge


The Queensland Government in Australia today released their Drone Strategy. Very pleasingly, the UAV Challenge Medical Express is featured on the front cover (the MAVLab Delftacopter from TUDelft that competed in the 2016 Medical Express Challenge) with other mentions through the document. The Queensland Government have been a sponsor and supporter of the UAV Challenge since the very first event in 2007. It is wonderful to see the UAV Challenge having such a positive impact. You can download the full Drone Strategy document here.