Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International
Student Unmanned Aerial Systems Competition
AUVSI SUAS Mission
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.
About the Competition
Patuxent River Naval Air Station (NAS)
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.
Technical Paper, Flight Readiness Review, Mission Demonstration
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.
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. Example tasks:
Interoperability. The UAS must download mission details, uploads aircraft telemetry in real time, and uploads mission deliverables to an external networked system.
Autonomous Flight. The UAS autonomously takes off, flies within boundaries, navigates a series of waypoints, and lands.
Obstacle Avoidance. The UAS autonomously avoids obstacles, which can be stationary or moving.
Object Detection, Classification, Localization. The UAS takes pictures of a search area, detect objects of interest, classifies its characteristics, and provides a GPS position.
Air Delivery. The UAS autonomously drops a payload object so that it lands undamaged at a provided GPS position.