Rules & Regulations
Lastest Version: June 3, 2014
The Challenge Rules and Regulation may be revised at any time prior to the final competition. Revisions will be posted on the wcUAVc web page and emailed to all the registered Teams. Clarifications to the Rules and Regulations will be available at the wcUAVc google groups web forum: wcUAVC Teams. Please email to be added to the google group.
Across Africa and Asia, a war is being waged by organized and well armed criminal networks to kill all the remaining rhinos for their horns – valued on the black market higher than gold. Rangers on the ground are ill equipped to stop the poachers, often outnumbered and out gunned by a criminal network that invests in technology and intelligence to ensure their access to the remaining rhinos. But teams of bright young people around the world are invited to join together in a Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge to create a fleet of aircraft optimized for the counter poaching mission.
JThe WCUAVC will foster innovation and invention in the design, fabrication, and utilization of unmanned aircraft to assist with counter poaching and illicit wildlife trafficking. It calls on students, hobbyists, academics, and corporations to cooperate in a Build & Fly challenge to create aircraft optimized for the counter-poaching mission.
2010 - present
2010 - present
Kruger National park lies in the north-east of South Africa, in the eastern parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. It is one of the largest national parks in the world, with an area of 19,485 square kilometers (7,523 sq mi). The park is approximately 360 kilometers (220 mi) long, and has an average width of 65 kilometers (40 mi). At its widest point, the park is 90 kilometers (56 mi) wide from east to west. To the north and south of the park two rivers, the Limpopo and the Crocodile respectively, act as its natural boundaries. To the east the Lebombo Mountains separate it from Mozambique. Its western boundary runs parallel with this range, roughly 65 km distant. The park varies in altitude between 200 m in the east and 840 m in the south-west near Berg-en-Dal. The highest point in the park is here, a hill called Khandzalive. Several rivers run through the park from west to east, including the Sabie, Olifants, Crocodile, Letaba, Luvuvhu and Limpopo Rivers.
The climate of the Kruger National Park and Lowveld is subtropical. Summer days are humid and hot with temperatures often soaring to above 40 °C. The rainy season is from September until May. Maximum temperatures in midwinter average 23 °C and the minimum average is 6 °C. Midsummer maximum temperatures average 30 °C with evening temperatures of 16 °C.
Unlike traditional Build & Fly contests with sets of clear and unambiguous rules, WCUAVC is an open source challenge that has only guidelines intended to help channel the overall effort towards creating operational aircraft that are optimized for the counter poaching mission. All Teams will contribute to the operational system that goes into production. After the Challenge, all Design Reports and Challenge Flights will be examined from the perspective of what might work best in an operational system. Even if your Team's overall score is not high, you might have discovered the key to creating a better operational aircraft. If you are looking to join a team, post your qualifications and interests join google groups web forum: wcUAVc Teams.
FINAL CHALLENGE FLIGHT SITE
The final challenge flight competition will be held in Amakhala Game Reserve located in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. All competing teams are expected to compete at this location.
Locally, nationally and internationally, Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge is open to students, hobbyists, innovators, and entrepreneurs to create the best technology solutions to save endangered species from extinction. At least one member of each team (the Pilot) must have flight insurance. An easy way to obtain insurance is to become a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA). Team advisers may be academics or professionals. Team members may be updated/changed at any time during the Challenge. Teams requesting a team member list update must submit an updated copy of the Challenge entry form with all fields fully filled.
Teams may solicit and accept sponsorship in the form of funds or materials and components from commercial organizations. All design, analysis, and fabrication of the challenge entry is the sole responsibility of the team members.
KRUGER MISSION – DATE TO BE DETERMINED
Five members from one or more Teams will be invited to participate in demonstrations and counter-poaching operations in Kruger National Park – the Battle Ground. Daytime will include mission briefings, flight demonstrations, and training of rangers on aircraft operations. Late in the afternoon, the Teams will deploy with rangers on a counter-poaching operation. Throughout the night, the Teams will attempt to demonstrate the value of the aircraft in protecting rhinos and enabling rangers to effectively engage poachers.
The Challenge sponsors will maintain a World Wide Web site containing the latest information regarding the contest schedules, rules and participating teams (www.wcuavc.com). Questions regarding the Challenge should be sent to the contest director at: firstname.lastname@example.org. A summary of questions and answers will be posted on the website. The sponsors will also utilize Facebook, Twitter, and Google Groups as additional means of communicating with the teams during the Challenge.
Email: Facebook: Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge Twitter: wcUAVchallenge Google Groups: wcUAVc Teams
AIRCRAFT REQUIREMENTS – GENERAL
One of the principal objectives of the wcUAVc is to create low cost aircraft that can perform counter-poaching missions. The ideal aircraft will be low cost, easy to operate, reliable, and maintainable. The aircraft must remain substantially the same as documented in the Design Report. Teams may make small modifications to the design to improve flight performance after the report submission, but Teams must submit a revised report prior to the Challenge Flights. The aircraft must comply with all insurance and legal requirements in the country of origin and in South Africa, with adaptions as needed to transit form one country to the other. Please check for updates on South African legal requirements as these are subject to change. For current information, see:
AIRCRAFT REQUIREMENTS – SAFETY
All aircraft will undergo a safety inspection by a designated safety inspector prior to being allowed to make a Challenge Flight. The aircraft must meet all of the safety requirements specified in the Build & Fly Completion form in order to participate in the Challenge Flight. If the aircraft has been modified after the Build & Fly Completion, a new (current) form must be submitted prior to the Challenge Flights. On site safety inspections will include: (1) compliance with Build & Fly requirements; (2) on site evaluation of structural integrity; and (3) on site demonstration of communications systems. All aircraft must have a mechanical motor arming system. The device must be located so it is accessible by a crew member standing ahead of the propeller(s) for pusher aircraft and standing behind the propeller(s) for tractor aircraft. The “Safety Arming Device” must be in “Safe” mode for all payload changes. The aircraft communications should always be powered on and the throttle verified to be “closed” before activating the motor arming switch.
wcUAVc will use objective and subjective means to evaluate Challenge Flights with a focus on being open source through innovation and invention in the design, fabrication, and utilization of unmanned aircraft to assist with counter poaching and illicit wildlife trafficking. Teams will be evaluated based on aircraft performance, communications performance, imagery quality, embedded systems performance, and bill of materials cost. They will also be evaluated on how well their concept and performance supports counter-poaching mission needs.
The principal goal of the Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge was to foster development of low cost aircraft optimized for counter poaching missions. The Challenge is both competitive and cooperative. Teams compete to overcome cost and performance challenges, then share their capabilities to move the community forward. To receive full credit for competitive achievements, Teams must agree to provide software at General Public License Version 3. Kashmir Robotics will maintain a repository of software for distribution under the GPL/v3 license. wcUAVc will use objective and subjective means to evaluate Challenge Flights with a focus on innovation and invention in the design, fabrication, and utilization of unmanned aircraft to assist with countering poaching and illicit wildlife trafficking. Teams will be evaluated based on cost and performance of aircraft, communications, imagery, and embedded systems. They will also be evaluated on their creativity and innovation to support counter-poaching mission needs. Challenge Flights will be grouped with one day for tactical aircraft optimized for use by rangers in the field and a second day for strategic aircraft optimized for sector-based operations. Teams that have paired aircraft can demonstrate capabilities on both days. The focus of this years Challenge is on embedded systems, the computers distributed throughout theaircraft that process and fuse data to create an “understanding” of the threat, adjust mission profiles, and report actionable information to rangers. The embedded systems enable the aircraft to perform their mission with limited communications.
Aircraft will be evaluated based on ease of launch, endurance, and ease of recovery.
◦ Radio Controlled Launch – 10 points
◦ Autopilot Controlled Launch – 20 points
◦ 30 minutes – 10 points
◦ 60 minutes – 20 points
◦ 90 minutes – 30 points
◦ 120 minutes – 40 points
◦ Radio Controlled Recovery – 10 points
◦ Autopilot Controlled Recover – 20 points
◦ Within 20 meters of recovery zone – 10 points
◦ Within 10 meters of recovery zone – 20 points
Communications performance will be evaluated based on communications range, continuity of coverage, and accessibility over Internet capable devices (Laptops, Tablets, Smart Phones, etc.). The range will have limited 3G/4G communications. Teams can integrate cellular and satellite communications into their aircraft.
◦ 5 kilometers – 10 points
◦ 10 kilometers – 20 points
◦ 20 kilometers – 30 points
◦ 25 to 50% – 10 points
◦ 51 to 75% – 20 points
◦ 76 to 100% – 30 points
• Accessibility over IP Devices
◦ Partial – 20 points
◦ Full Telemetry Including Video Streaming – 40 points
System cost will be evaluated based on Bill of Materials Cost for aircraft and all associated air systems. Sensors, Launchers and other Ground Systems will not be included.
• Airframe Including Power, Propulsion, and Controls;
◦ < $2,000 – 20 points
◦ < $1,000 – 50 points
• Avionics Including Autopilot, Navigation, and Communications
◦ < $1,000 – 20 points
◦ < $500 – 30 points
• Sensors including RFID interrogators and Metal Detectors
◦ < $500 – 20 points
◦ < $200 – 40 points
• Embedded Systems Including Data Fusion and Imagery Processors
◦ < $500 – 20 points
◦ < $200 – 30 points
◦ < $100 – 40 points
Embedded systems will be evaluated based on the ability of the aircraft to detect, categorize, and report on humans and animals and adjust mission profiles based on observations.
• Detect, locate and report moving targets - 40 points
• Identify and report human and animal species - 60 points
• Characterize and report humans a potential threats - 80 points
• Adjust mission profiles based on observations - 100 points
Imagery performance will be based on sensor, electronic and/or physical stabilization, platform stability, data link, and other parameters. Imagery quality will be evaluated based on the ability of judges to identify features in a standard (scaled USAF 1951 Resolution) test chart from 300 feet AGL and ability to detect and identify humans during low light level conditions from 300 feet AGL.*
• Test Chart
◦ 50 centimeter line separation – 10 points
◦ 10 centimeter line separation – 20 points
◦ 5 centimeter line separation – 30 points
• Low Light Level
◦ Detect Humans and animals – 30 points
Poachers carry large caliber hunting rifles and AK-47 assault weapons. Detection of metal can be used to categorize humans in the Park as threats. Metal detection performance will be evaluated based on the ability to detect and report whether a human is carrying a rifle.
• Test Chart
◦ 20 feet AGL – 20 points
◦ 40 feet AGL – 30 points
◦ 100 feet AGL – 40 points
Interrogator performance will be based on antenna, receiver, platform, data logging and other parameters. Interrogator performance will be evaluated based on ability to detect and report data from RFID Tags.
• Detect and Report
◦ 100 feet AGL – 10 points
◦ 200 feet AGL – 20 points
◦ 300 feet AGL – 30 points
For creative and innovative ideas beyond the required specifications teams can earn bonus points.
*A recommended low cost camera is the Boscam HD19 Explorer Full HD 1080p FPV Video Camera with Integral Recorder available from HobbyKing for $109.99. Challenge Leadership is negotiating to provide Teams with a low cost FLIR.