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.

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