Team Guardian flew 10 of its members across Canada to compete in the Unmanned Systems Canada competition held in Alma, Quebec. Thirteen teams from universities across Canada attended this year to demonstrate their unmanned aerial systems. This year, we were faced with the challenge of surveying a population of geese to provide a census count, identifying nests, and retrieving an egg.
Teams were given two flight windows to attempt the mission. The first day of competition brought high winds, causing many teams to remain grounded. Unfortunately, we were not able to get off the ground. We came away identifying additional areas we needed to focus on before our next flight window the following day.
Our flight time was early the next morning, and while the winds had calmed, temperatures dropped to 0 deg C. The flight crew was much better prepared to get off the ground, despite cold fingers making it hard to work quickly. Once our competition time started, we quickly got off the ground with our fixed wing airframe. It’s smooth flight impressed judges as it effortlessly completed waypoint after waypoint of the pre-planned flight path. Unfortunately, after completing about 90% of the flight, the aircraft executed safety termination procedures, likely due to a loose connection. While we lost the plane in the crash, most of the hardware was salvageable.
After planning to attend the AUVSI SUAS international competition for the first time in 4 years, the team had to cancel these plans. We will instead focus on developing a more solid, robust, and reliable system that can be used as the basis for the team’s unmanned aerial systems for years to come. At the same time, Team Guardian will work with industry partners such as Harris Aerial to get new and up-to-date components including the PixHawk2.1 integrated into the our system, as we aim to reach out to a larger audience. We look forward to continuing development alongside more partners over the next few months!