Northrop Grumman sponsors Australia UAV challenge competition
Northrop Grumman Corporation is sponsoring the 2013 and 2014 UAV Challenge – Outback Rescue, a competition in which students develop unmanned airborne vehicles (UAVs) that locate and deliver an emergency package to a fictitious lost hiker. The competition is aimed at encouraging growth in the Australian civil UAV industry and raising awareness of the potential civilian applications.
“This competition is significant because it introduces high school and university students to UAV technology and shows them how it can help solve real-world problems,” said Ian Irving, Northrop Grumman’s Chief Executive for Australia. “Given our company’s leadership in the field of unmanned aircraft systems, we are pleased to be supporting this important initiative, which will help create the next-generation of aerospace professionals.”
The UAV Challenge – Outback Rescue includes two flying categories: the Airborne Delivery Challenge and the Search and Rescue Challenge. Both competitions give students a hands-on opportunity to explore their interests, whether in project management, engineering, mathematics or technology.
This year’s Airborne Delivery Challenge took place September 24-25 at Gratton Field in Calvert, Queensland, with 11 teams of Australian high school students participating. Each team was given an emergency package to be delivered to the lost bushwalker, a mannequin called “Outback Joe.” Teams used UAVs they built to carry and drop the package as close to Outback Joe as possible. The delivery of the package was controlled by either a human operator or automatically by the systems on the aircraft. This year’s Airborne Delivery Challenge was won by the Calamvale Raptors II team from Queensland.