1st Annual MAV Student Challenge Winners Announced

University of Texas at Austin Phoenix V at the MAV Student ChallengeThe 1st Annual Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) Student Challenge was held at the AHS Forum 69 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday May 21, 2013. The Challenge was held at 5:30 p.m. in the exhibit hall during the Industry/Exhibitor Reception.

The MAV Student Challenge pitted five student-researcher teams in a competition for up to $3,000 in prizes sponsored by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. The teams included two from the University of Maryland and one each from the University of Texas at Austin, Arizona State University and The Pennsylvania State University.

UT Austin’s Phoenix V team won a $1,000 prize for Best Manual Challenge Execution, which entailed flying line of sight to a target and then doing a sensor-guided, remotely operated hover over target. Penn State’s Gnittany Gnat team won the Best Poster Presentation Award of $500.

The challenge for an autonomous target acquisition and hover was not claimed this year.

Penn State Poster Session for MAV Student ChallengePrizes not awarded this year will be reserved to encourage practical and technological pursuits by next year’s competitors.

The competition was conducted by AHS International’s Unmanned VTOL Aircraft & Rotorcraft Committee. The committee hopes that the annual MAV Student Challenges will lead to advances in this area and help to develop increased expertise by students and universities.

The competition was designed to award both “form” and “function” of the MAV. With respect to “form”, teams with unique, innovative and robust VTOL MAV air-vehicle design were awarded points. With respect to “function”, teams that demonstrated the best flight and autonomy capabilities received points. See the MAV Student Challenge rules for the details.

Update -- October 24, 2013: The rules for the 2nd Annual MAV Student Challenge have been posted! Check them out. 

(Photographs by Jason L. Pereira.)