First autonomous flight for Xawk 5 from MSU Xipiter IPT team.

Xipiter IPT had a successful first flight under manual control of S/N 002 of its Xawk 5 class UAS May 24th. The aircraft will compete at the AUVSI Student UAS competition June 13-16 at NAS Patuxent River, MD. Today it flew for the first time autonomously.

Xipiter UAS Integrated Products Team is Mississippi State University’s unmanned aircraft systems team that participates each year in the AUVSI Student UAS competition in Maryland. The competition consistently attracts the interest of industry-leading companies and officials within all branches of the military.

Unlike typical student design teams, our team is comprised of students in Aerospace Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Computer Science, representing a multi-disciplinary approach to the entire lifecycle—design, fabrication, operations, and sustainability—of its autonomous aircraft.

The Xawk 5 UAS is entirely designed, fabricated, and assembled from the ground up by students. The avionics and surveillance system is also planned and integrated by our students, powered almost 100% by their own student-written software.

Xipiter has consistently placed high in the AUVSI competition. For the last three years, the team has placed no lower than 5th place, winning 1st place in 2008, and 2nd Place this year in 2010, beating over twenty-two international teams from around the globe. Our system was one of the few that noticeably sparked the interest of many top-ranking personnel at NAVAIR, other military officials, and industry. One such individual remarked, “MSU is consistently the team to beat.” Another said, “We came just to see this plane fly.”

More about Xawk 5 http://xipiter.org/web/xawk-5-sn002/