Team Anthus Excel at the 2022 Institute of Mechanical Engineers UAS Challenge
Congratulations to Team ANTHUS from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queens who were placed second overall in this year's Institute of Mechanical Engineers Unmanned Air System Challenge (IMechE UAS Challenge 2022). The team also secured the Scrutineers Award AND the Innovation Award based on the quality of their final build and their unique propulsion system which included electric ducted fans to provide extra lift at low speeds. This is a fantastic achievement for our group of Stage 3 Aerospace Engineering students. From a starting field of 33 entrants they were the only team to execute a completely autonomous mission! The team included Jan Cofalik, Piotr Cofalik, Rebecca Jones, Rory MacGinty, Rose McClelland, Martin McCracken, Michael McFarland, Conaill Murray, Exauce Nsadisa, Neil O'Kane & Niall Ruddy.
Teams of undergraduates from all over the world take part in the Challenge which which has been held annually since 2014. The teams undertake a full design and build cycle for an unmanned air system (UAS) with a maximum take off mass of 10kg. The aircraft have to undertake specific mission objectives related to the delivery of humanitarian aid after a simulated natural disaster. The system as a whole, is required to operate automatically (including take off, mission execution and landing), performing a series of tasks such as area search, navigating way points, accurately dropping an aid Package and returning to base via a defined route. The competition is split into design, development and demonstration stages and culminates with the flying demonstration and business case presentations which contribute to final scoring.
The School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queens integrated this specification with our stage 3 Aircraft Design module. All of our aircraft are designed from scratch by new teams starting in October and finishing at the end of semester two in April. This year, Team Anthus delivered their aircraft on time for the completion of their academic module and spent their time between April and July refining system performance with a series of flight tests.
Many thanks to the team at the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queens who supported ANTHUS. This included Wesley and his team in the main Engineering Workshop, Troy in our Prototyping Lab and Tara, Zdenka & Allison in our School office who looked after purchasing.
Thanks to our sponsors CPCases and CDE for their support during the course of this project which contributed significantly to our success this year.
Thanks also to Maurice and George for their technical advice and to North Down Model Aircraft Club for the use of their facilities at Kirkistown during our test flights. Thanks in particular to Keith at NDMAC for piloting our aircraft under some very challenging conditions and circumstances!