From the OBC Facebook page
Day 3 of the 2014 UAV Challenge Outback Rescue was flying day number one of the Search and Rescue
competition. The day started with teams being fogged-in. The fog lifted at about 8am and the competition flights could begin. OpenUAS (Netherlands) were here in Kingaroy for a third time and looked to be going well after launch, but quickly had some technical issue relating to their airspeed measurement. Their aircraft came down in the mission area. Next up was Team Condor (Colombia) who could not launch due to technical problems and they elected to go to the back of the flight queue should there be enough time left at the end of the week. MonashUAS (Australia) took to the air and started their search pattern. They pulled images off their aircraft via their radio link but could not find images that looked convincingly like Outback Joe. They had three attempts at giving the correct GPS location of Joe to the judges but none were correct. They successfully returned their aircraft to the airport. Perth UAV (Australia) were next, launched well and
made it to the search area quickly. They soon realised that they had an onboard technical problem which meant that their onboard Joe detector would not run. Their backup system kicked in an off board processing begun. However, their backup datalink was not fast enough (4G) to upload all images from the search area. They gave one estimate of Joe’s position to the judges but it was not correct. They successfully landed their aircraft back at the airport.
Outback Joe had still not been spotted. CompassUAV (Australia) were returning from an attempt at the Challenge in 2012. They launched well and made it to the search area but the range marshals reported that their aircraft was flying too low. Their onboard systems seemed to report a higher altitude. There was an issue! They had one attempt at correctly locating Joe’s position with a position estimate to the judges but this attempt was unsuccessful. They returned to the airport and recovered their aircraft using a parachute. The final team to fly today were SwissFang (Switzerland). They launched well off a ramp and headed to the search area. However, they soon came down unplanned within the mission boundary and their competition was over.
In summary, six teams flew or had an opportunity to fly today. Team MelAvio (Poland) elected to skip their flight slot and went to the back of the flight queue. This leaves eight teams that must be given a chance to fly for the organisers to declare a winner. What a big day! The teams were great and took their disappointments very well. They were all professional, should all be proud and now all understand what we call the “Kingaroy Triangle”.