Three Embry-Riddle Teams Win Honors at Unmanned Aircraft Competition
Three Embry-Riddle teams scooped up a handful of top awards at the 2012 Student Unmanned Air Systems (SUAS) competition held June 13-17 and collected $12,600 in prize money to fund new designs for unmanned aircraft. SUAS is sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).
The university’s teams, two from the Daytona Beach Campus and a third from the Prescott Campus (pictured at right), were the largest contingent in the annual event, which drew 29 teams from the United States and international universities.
The annual competition challenges students to design and fly an aircraft for a mission requiring autonomous flight, navigation of a specified course and use of onboard cameras. Students also submit technical journal papers and perform oral presentations.
Team UARE (Daytona Beach campus)
1st place: Journal paper
3rd place: Mission
5th place: Overall
10th place: Oral presentation
Winner of Dr. Arthur Reyes Safety Award
Advisors: Charles Reinholtz, professor of mechanical engineering, and Eric Coyle and Patrick Currier, assistant professors of mechanical engineering
“AUVSI competitions challenge students to develop state-of-the-art unmanned systems that solve real problems, including fixed-wing and rotary-wing UAVs and ground, surface and underwater vehicles,” Reinholtz said. “I’m proud that Embry-Riddle fields more robotics teams in these premier events than any other university, and our teams are always among the top competitors.”
Team Blackbird (Daytona Beach campus)
8th place: Oral
12th place: Overall
13th place: Mission
20th place: Journal
Advisor: Richard Stansbury, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering.
During the competition, Justin Paterson, a student on Team Blackbird, enthused: “It’s what we’re going to be doing in a couple of years. It’s airplanes, it’s flying and it’s all about getting to know all those systems. There’s so many different designs that even if we don’t succeed, somebody else is, and we can learn from them.”
Team Awesome (Prescott campus)
8th place and honorable mention: Mission
13th place: Overall
20th place: Oral
22nd place: Journal
Advisor: Ray Bedard, associate professor of aeronautical science.
“We are so proud of what our team accomplished,” Bedard said. “Despite a catastrophic loss of their primary vehicle before the event, they built two replacement aircraft over the weekend, tuned and prepped them, and went to the competition on schedule. Overcoming adversity is a key component to education.”