A team of undergraduate Aerospace Engineers took part in the Institute of Mechanical Engineers UAS Challenge at the Snowdonia Aerospace Centre in Wales from 18 – 20 June 2017. The competition required the development of an autonomous air vehicle for the purpose of delivering emergency supplies to earthquake victims. Competing against other Universities from the UK, Turkey and Egypt, the students designed, constructed and operated their aircraft completely from scratch across two academic semesters starting in October 2016. In addition to the aerodynamic and structural elements, the aircraft systems had to include an autonomous navigation system as well as image recognition capability. The team included (left hand photo, back row, L-R,) Alick Lau, Ross McConnell, Emma Mills, Lauren McGarry, Stuart Anderson and Stephen Colbert, (front row, L-R,) Conor Taylor and Laura Erne. Emma, Lauren, Laura, Stephen and Conor developed the main aircraft structure (including retracting landing gear and payload release system) as part of their stage 3 Aircraft Design Module. Alick and Stuart developed the autonomous navigation and image recognition systems during their Stage 4 Projects and Ross who is currently a Stage 2 Aerospace Engineer, was the Pilot. Having completed the academic year with an operational aircraft, the team expended considerable effort in the run up to the competition integrating systems and completing test flights to ensure that all elements worked well together. Despite a heavy crash just before travelling to Wales, the team performed well across all of the elements which were assessed for the competition and they were awarded the trophy for the most environmentally friendly system! Well done to Bath as the overall winners and thanks to the IMechE for another fantastic event!
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