The only Australian team to enter the International Micro Air Vehicles (IMAV) competition and conference in 2017 (or, in fact, ever) is from the RMIT Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research Team (RUASRT). The team, drawn from enthusiastic undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as academics, have worked tirelessly over the last few months on their entry for both the indoor and outdoor events. Both events require craft with high levels of autonomy in order to complete the challenges and successfully navigate the obstacles. RUASRT has developed several UAS capable of successfully completing the challenge: This includes a fixed-wing pylon racer, a flying-wing aerial mapper, quadcopters with a full sensor suite, and a micro-X8 heavylift.
Some of these challenges for the indoor competition include navigating without GPS through a turbulent (windy) environment and small spaces, and identifying the correct location to drop a life-saving payload – all without any input from the team during the flight. For this, the team has created a small quadcopter with propeller protection and a sensor stack capable of Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM).
The outdoor section is search and rescue style, with the team required to map an area and identify points of interest, as well as an endurance challenge. For this, they have created fixed wing platforms – one to complete laps of the required area for the endurance challenge and another to take photos of the mapping area and send them wirelessly to the team computers for automatic photo-stitching and feature identification.
The team is very excited for this competition, and we were recently featured on the RMIT website -check it out here: https://www.rmit.edu.au/news/all-news/2017/aug/australian-hopes-riding-on-rmit-drones