Dronolab at the 11th Canadian Student UAS Competition
An historic win for the ÉTS teamWednesday, May 8, 2019
Last weekend, the UAS Centre of Excellence in Alma hosted the 11th edition of the Canadian Student UAS Competition. In its seventh time participating in the competition, the Dronolab club took home top honours for the first time in its history. However, it was the fourth time the ÉTS team finished on the podium at the competition, having taken 2nd place in 2018 and 2014 and 3rd place in 2017.
Drones: More than just a toy
Contrary to what may be depicted on the news, the use of drones is not limited to simply taking spectacular photographs, delivering packages and causing disturbances at airports! As a matter of fact, drones are extremely useful in the fields of cartography, topography and water management, for monitoring and inspecting infrastructure assets, for the transportation of emergency equipment and the detection of forest fires and in many other areas! Drone competitions usually focus on these qualities, and the drones designed by the Dronolab club are created with a view to meeting these challenges, and eventually offering innovations that will be beneficial to society.
An exciting competition
The Canadian Student UAS Competition, which this year included 14 teams from various Canadian universities, is divided into two distinct phases: the Technical Phase and the Simulation Phase. During the Technical Phase, teams must prepare and then present a concept paper that describes their approach, along with their drawings. During the Simulation Phase, teams must complete a fictitious mission that simulates real-life problems in society.
This year, the mission was to provide technical support for a public service company following a windstorm that caused damage to a solar panel farm. The teams had to devise a system that would provide information concerning the damage done to the solar panels within the allotted time. The system had to allow for the damage to be located and prioritized and for the required modifications to be identified, and had to conduct an inspection based on markers on critical cells of damaged panels.
The ÉTS team excelled in the Simulation Phase, guaranteeing itself first place. Combined with their second place finish in the first phase of the competition, the overall performance allowed the students from Dronolab to climb to the top of the podium for the first time since the club was created.
Results – 11th Canadian Student UAS Competition
Winners of Phase 1:
1. Université de Sherbrooke: $3,000 prize
2. École de technologie supérieure: $2,000 prize
3. McGill University: $1,000 prize
Winners of Phase 2:
1. École de technologie supérieure: $5,000 prize
2. McGill University: $4,000 prize
3. Carleton University (Ottawa): $3,000 prize
Next stop: The United States
The Dronolab club will soon be hitting the road again, heading to Maryland for its next competition, the Student Unmanned Aerial Systems Competition, which will be held from June 12 to 15, 2019. This time, the club will be competing against approximately thirty teams from around the world. Buoyed by its recent success, the Dronolab team is more motivated than ever to win this competition too!
Cindy D. Gauthier
514 396-8800, ext 7471