Sherbrooke team repeat winners at unmanned systems competition

For the second year in a row, VAMUdeS, a team from Université de Sherbrooke, took took first place in the 6th Unmanned Systems Canada UAV Student Competition.

The annual event, hosted this year by Southport Aerospace Centre near Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, attracted 11 teams from across the country for the operational phase of the competition on May 2-4.

The challenge has become a showcase for UAV capability in commercial applications. This year was no different as teams were asked to identify the percentage of a crop affected in a given area and map it; locate a rock slide and calculate its volume so that appropriate machinery could be ordered to remove it; and identify any suspicious activities in a pipeline right of way such as the presence of unauthorized people or vehicles. The scenario was designed to challenge both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft.

Prior to the operational phase, 13 university teams were judged on their UAS design, with the University of Toronto Aeronautics picking up first places, followed by Carleton University and Sherbrooke.

In the operational phase, the VAMUdeS team finished first, ahead of École de technologie supérieur and the University of Victoria.

Other participating universities were Simon Fraser, Polytechnique Montréal, University of Alberta, UBC, University of Alberta Aerial Robotics Group, University of Waterloo Aerial Robotics Group and Université du Québec a Chicoutimi. The teams split a total prize purse of $10,750.

“Over the course of three days, each team challenged their respective designs and infrastructure to deliver results to the judge ‘customers’,” said Stewart Baillie, chairman of Unmanned Systems Canada. “The results were outstanding. My overall impression is that innovation and solid engineering is alive and well in Canada.”

Event sponsors included: NovAtel, ING Robotic Aviation, Connect Tech, Lockheed Martin, AVIYA, Textron Systems, FLIR Systems, NGC Aérospatiale, Forest Protection Limited (FPL), CED Alma, LGL Environmental, MicroPilot, Cloud Cap Technology, Xiphos Technologies and FPInnovations.

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