Xipiter Integrated Products Team (IPT), Mississippi State University’s unmanned aircraft systems team, placed in the top ten among 26 international contenders, winning over $3,500 in the AUVSI Student UAS competition this week at Patuxent River Naval Air Station. The team flew using its Xawk 5 SN 002 unmanned aircraft, a flight vehicle and system designed, fabricated, and integrated entirely by MSU students.
“Xawk 5 and the people behind it performed simply amazing today,” said Jared Gates, Team Lead for Xipiter. “But we’re not stopping here. We’re eagerly awaiting the opportunity to perfect the system over the upcoming year.”
After facing technical difficulties with its surveillance subsystem that grounded the Xawk 5 aircraft on the first flight demonstration day, the team quickly jumped into action, resolving the issue and allowing them to fly on day two. The system performed as planned — flying autonomously, hitting all nine waypoints, and dynamically re-tasking in midair before entering the defined search area despite winds aloft of over 20 mph. The team also correctly identified all five parameters and the geographic location of four targets on the ground.
Jeff Morris, ISR Director for the mission commented on the success.
“Even with a few issues, the imagery subsystem outstripped expected results and produced crisp, clean images of even the smallest of intended targets.”
The competition is divided into three parts: a flight demonstration, journal paper, and flight readiness review presentation. In addition to placing in the top 6 in flight, Xipiter also placed in the top 10 in the journal paper and readiness review presentation, which together comprise half of the competition score.
Xipiter IPT was formed in 2003 competing in the 2nd AUVSI SUAS competition. It announced the Xawk 5 program, its 8th, on August 31, 2010 and SN 002 began fabrication on September 15, 2011. On May 20th, 2012, the aircraft rolled out of Raspet Flight Research Laboratory. It completed its first flight on May 24th.
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. Unlike typical student design teams, the team is comprised of students in more than five departments within the Bagley College of Engineering at MSU. The aircrafts built were 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. Over the last several years, the team has placed consistently high, winning 1st place in 2008, and 2nd place in 2010, beating out over twenty-two international teams from around the globe.