Record registration for student UAS competition

11 November 2015

Students at Canadian Universities have responded in record numbers to the 2016 Unmanned Systems Canada Student UAS Competition. A total of 18 teams from across Canada have registered for the event. 

First time competitors from Western, Guelph and McGill will add excitement and new input to this 9th annual challenge. In search of a greater competitive edge, Concordia, McGill and Toronto have each registered two teams. The competition takes place in two phases with Phase I, a design report from each team due January 15th, 2016 and Phase II, the flying demonstration, April 29th – May 1st 2016 in Southport, Manitoba. To be eligible students must be registered in a full time program at a Canadian university or college, and design and successfully fly their UAS. 

The purpose of the competition is to promote and develop Canadian expertise and experience in unmanned systems technologies at the university and college levels. Teams will be graded on the quality and completeness of their design report and the results of the aerial demonstrations – there will be separate prizes for each phase.

To give the students real life UAS experience, the scenario for this competition combines problems encountered by the agriculture sector. Each team is a “company” hired to use their UAS to determine the health of a local farmer’s crops. They must identify the crops’ location, type and health and map them with an airborne sensor system. The farmer accepts the validity of using crop probes to measure soil conditions in specific locations to validate the aerial results obtained via the image system. Various symbols and small structures are set out in the flying zone to simulate the scenario. A written report on the findings is also submitted to the judges. 

The competition is designed and judged by a dedicated group of Unmanned Systems Canada experts, and supported by local volunteers and industry sponsors. Through various student activities, the association is helping to foster greater success in Canadian UVS ventures. 

Once again Southport Manitoba will open its doors to host the competition. This thriving community, an hour west of Winnipeg, features an airport, aviation and aerospace training facilities, and on-site accommodation that allow easy access for early morning starts and late night discussions. 

Thanks to enthusiasm and support from past sponsors, the competition has been able to raise the bar and increasingly attract first class teams with innovative ideas. The competition serves as a job interview scenario and a number of UAS competitors have been hired by a sponsoring company. Sponsorship opportunities are available. To become involved as a sponsor as we support and celebrate the best and brightest of the Canadian UAS sector, contact competition@unmannedsystems.ca

2016 UAS Competition Teams

  • Carleton University - Blackbird 
  • Concordia University - Phénix 
  • Concordia University - UAV 
  • École de technologie supérieure - Dronolab 
  • Guelph - Jeramiah in the Sky 
  • École Polytechnique - Smartbird 
  • McGill - Aero McGill Drones 
  • McGill - Robotics 
  • Ryerson University - RUAV 
  • Simon Fraser University - Guardian 
  • Sherbrooke - VAMUdeS 
  • University of Alberta - AARG 
  • University of British Columbia - UAS 
  • University of Toronto - AeRo 
  • University of Toronto - UAV 
  • University of Victoria - AERO 
  • Waterloo - WARG 
  • Western - Western Engineering Aero Design