MAV Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions for MAV Competitors

Last update: October 21, 2014

Q1. What kind of “sensor payload” is permitted onboard?
  • Teams are free to choose their sensor payload subject to size and weight limitations. The sensors, however, have to be independent of any external sources of reference, reckoning, or differential correction. They may to sense only the provided passive external environment (floor, boundary, ceiling, obstructions).
Q2. What are the specifications of the flight area floor pattern or texture?
  • We will provide floor texture and color-related updates by January 30, 2015. 
Q3. Are there any restrictions on where computational processing takes place?
  • There are no restrictions on computational platform or location. If your communication satisfies the specified frequencies then teams are free to close loops over the network. However, you may not use any differential information from the base station to localize the vehicle on the map.
Q4. Are external navigation aids allowed, such as (vicon, IR, reflectors, or visual markers)?
  • No, external navigation aids are definitely NOT allowed. Teams are not permitted to change the external layout.
Q5. How many flight attempts are allowed for each team?Penn State Poster Session for MAV Student Challenge
  • The team will (most likely) get 10 minutes of total time to setup, demo and wrap-up. You may attempt as many times as you like. The judges will record the best performance.
Q6. When flying the autonomous mission, which mission phases need to be autonomously executed? Is take-off or landing permitted to be manual?
  • For autonomous mission: all the mission phases must be autonomous. If you an unable to takeoff or land autonomously, you may do so manually but lose those scoring points. You will still get partial points in that case. We will release scoring rules and metrics in March – please stay tuned for this information.
Q7. What does “target acquisition” mean? How precisely does the target location need to be identified?
  • Target needs to “acquired” by the cameras onboard and tracked using visual feedback. The target search phase and boundary constraint management of the mission is also conducted using onboard cameras. Target acquisition is measured in terms of lateral hover-hold performance for the specified period of time. Teams will have a member next to the ground station who will flag the end of target search and start of target acquisition events. Scoring will take both the target search time and hover performance into account. There is no need to compute or report back global target position. The entire mission is based on “relative navigation”.
Q8. Although scoring criteria are given, the combination formula or metrics are vague. What is the final combined score of all rating IDs?
  • Scoring equations would be released in March closer to final team selection. The scoring criteria are given generically to avoid “tuning” the MAV design to a specific combination metric.

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