Blog by Kris Gjernes. Artemis Aerial Imaging has received support from Social Innovation seed funding available to SFU students from RADIUS in partnership with Sustainable SFU. Read more for details about our SI seed funding pilot program.
Team GUARDIAN participated in the 2015 Unmanned Systems Canada competition which was held in Alma, Quebec. This year’s scenario is based on a train wreck that resulted in an oil spill near agriculture fields and infrastructure. Our team is required to survey the area to locate and identify damaged objects, train containers, and debris piles. 13 university teams from across Canada competed this year, making this the largest USC competition to date!
Day 0: Thursday, April 30
After suffering through a long and sleepless night of flying from Vancouver to Montreal to Quebec City, followed by a drive to Alma, we finally arrived at the competition grounds early afternoon. We claimed a work station in the hangar of the Alma airport and unpacked our team equipment. After a well-deserved nap, we worked into the night to further prepare our system.
Day 1: Friday, May 1
Today the activities of the competition begin. After a brief welcome and guidelines of the competition, all the teams presented the overview of their team and system. The afternoon was spent doing test flights. Team GUARDIAN was the fourth team to test, and after witnessing crashes from each of the systems before us, we were nervous, but was unwarranted since our test went off without a hitch, performing well and executing a successful landing. Our success made us feel prepared for the next day’s evaluated flight for the competition.
Day 2: Saturday, May 2
Team GUARDIAN was scheduled to fly late morning for our first flight that counted towards the competition. The scenario is a train wreck that has resulted in an oil spill in the region. Our task is to locate affected agriculture and any objects in the region such as cars, debris piles, and buildings. We were given 45 minutes for surveillance, followed by an hour to write a report. From the moment the timer started, our flight crew efficiently put the system together and were up in the air in very little time. Our efficiency was unparalleled at the competition thanks to our very coordinated flight crew! The flight was executed flawlessly with plenty of time to survey the entire area and fly over a second time to get additional details. We were extremely pleased with our performance at the competition so far!
Day 3: Sunday, May 3
A second time to compete was given, but this time we were only allotted 30 minutes. From the time we were allowed to begin, it took us 2 minutes 50 seconds to get our plane in the air, half the time as our first flight of competition and significantly dated than any other team. We planned our flight differently, doing a flight at 200m to get a better overall map, and a lower pass at 80m to get better detail, such as the QR codes we were required to read. We were able to get better results this day and more effectively analyzed the images we received. Unfortunately our team did not place in the competition, but with our stable flight and efficiency, we feel that with focussing on our image system and processing, we could significantly improve our performance at next years competition. Team GUARDIAN is proud to have been mentioned by the judges as having the fastest airborne time from our flight today! We look forward to improving and testing our system this next year and competing again in 2016!