The AUVSI SUAS Competition is designed to foster interest in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), stimulate interest in UAS technologies and careers, and to engage students in a challenging UAS mission. The competition requires students to design, integrate, report on, and demonstrate a UAS capable of autonomous flight and navigation, remote sensing via onboard payload sensors, and execution of a specific set of tasks. The competition has been held annually since 2002.
The competition is held at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station (NAS) Webster Field in St. Mary's County, Maryland. This is the site of the UAS Test & Evaluation Directorate.
Autonomous Aerial Missions. The competition focuses on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) performing autonomous missions. Many of the tasks require autonomy to be eligible, and others receive more points for autonomy.
Competition Components. The competition has 3 major graded components: a Technical Journal Paper which describes the systems engineering approach and the UAS design, a Flight Readiness Review (FRR) where teams describe their mission readiness and what testing gives them confidence, and a Mission Demonstration where the team is evaluated on performance.
Mission Tasks. The competition has a series of tasks that should be completed by the UAS system built. The competition changes these tasks year-to-year to reflect the forefront of the UAS industry. The tasks are joined to form a simulated real-world mission. The 2017 competition mission is search-and-rescue of a lost hiker. Example tasks: