Outback Challenge 2010

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“The 2010 UAV Challenge took place between September 27 and 29, 2010.”


2010 UAV Challenge Organizers

– Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation (ARCAA) (a five-year-long partnership between CSIRO and Queensland University of Technology)

– The Queensland State Government

– Boeing Defence Australia

– Aviation Development Australia Limited

2010 UAV Challenge Sponsors



Australian Defence Magazine



CAE Inc.

South Burnett Regional Council


2010 Search and Rescue Challenge

“In the Search and Rescue competition a team from the University of North Dakota became the first in UAV Challenge history to successfully locate Outback Joe, managing to pinpoint his location to within 15 m (from 800 ft AGL). However, they failed to drop a water bottle within 100 m (as required by the rules) and hence did not win the A$50,000 prize. Team Robota, from Texas, was awarded second place after their aircraft successfully entered the search area but had to abort the mission due to a technical issue. A total of 43 teams entered the Search and Rescue competition with 12 qualifying to fly but only six flying at the event.”


2010 Robot Airborne Delivery Challenge


2010 Airborne Delivery Challenge


2010 Documentary Challenge


2010 UAV Challenge Results

Challenge Grand prize Winners Encouragement awards
Search and Rescue Challenge A$50,000.00 (not completed) First Place: University of North Dakota (A$15,000), Second Place: Team Robota (A$5,000)
Robot Airborne Delivery Challenge A$10,000.00 (not completed)
Airborne Delivery Challenge A$5,000.00 Calamvale Hornets
Documentary challenge A$5,000.00 Latitude 38 UAV N/A



News Articles relating to the 2010 UAV Outback Challenge


2010-12-02 Outback Challenge makes it into Quantas In-flight Magazine

2010-11-18 Outback Challenge helps focus CASA’s eye

2010-10-07 Melbourne UAV’s Outback Challenge Documentary

2010-10-06 Outback Challenge wrap up from Latitude 38’s UAV team

2010-10-03 Outback Challenge Full Results

2010-10-01 Outback Joe was next to his car

2010-09-29 University of North Dakota win Search and Rescue Challenge

2010-09-28 Triumph and tragedy at The Outback Challenge

2010-09-27 Just one team makes it through scrutineers at Outback Challenge 2010

2010-09-26 Outback Challenge gets under way

2010-09-06 Outback Challenge D2 decisions

2010-09-02 Outback Challenge first two casualties

2010-09-02 Outback Challenge 2010 12 teams through

2010-08-22 Outback Challenge update

2010-06-09 UAV Challenge Outback Rescue 2010 off to a flying start

2010-05-24 Team Cooee branding exercise

2010-05-14 Outback Challenge 2010 open for entries

2010-01-27 Project Andromeda


Flying robots on the up and up


UAVs take flight in Queensland



The Outback Challenge is over for this year. Bring on 2011.

I’m going to add the documentary entries as they arrive and any other information I can find to try and make this as complete a record as possible of the 2010 event.

Final results here How they got there here

Starts Monday 27th September 2010, flying starts on Tuesday 28th.

Follow Outback Joe himself on Twitter and make friends on Facebook The Outback Challenge Official site

28th Sept 2010 Update story here

A big thanks to Max for being there to stream the happenings.

Max Jerkic’s live transmissions from the event

Watch live video from UAV Outback Challenge 2010 on Justin.tv

The Challenges and those teams that are through…

Search and Rescue Challenge

The Mission

Outback Joe is lost in the Australian outback and desperately needs assistance. You must develop a UAV that is capable of locating Outback Joe and delivering an emergency package to him.

Where’s Outback Joe?

Your system must be capable of searching an area of at least 2nm x 2nm, up to 5nm from the aerodrome. The target for your search will be a human (or dummy) positioned in a typical resting pose in a rural setting.

The GPS coordinates representing the four corners of the search area will be provided in the days leading up to the competition. The air vehicle must not travel outside of the search area or transit lane, for its flight will be terminated if it does so. The search area will be not more that 5nm from the aerodrome.

Over a 60 minute period, teams must deploy their air vehicle systems and conduct the search. Once the search has been conducted a decision must be made as to where Outback Joe is located. A GPS coordinate, representing Outback Joe’s location, must be provided to the judges.

Rescue Outback Joe!

Once Joe has been located with the judges’ approval, the air vehicle must be tasked with delivering its emergency package. The emergency package will contain 500ml of ‘life saving’ water. The package must be dropped as closely as possible to Outback Joe, without landing on him. The UAV will then return to the Kingaroy airport for recovery.

Melbourne UAV

Melbourne UAV
Scott and Ian


The Documentary Entry

MUROC Wild-Hogs


Open UAS


Facebook Page

OpenUAS Deliverable 2 Outback challenge 2010 from OpenUAS on Vimeo.

You will need a password for that one:-  0p3nU4Sv13w

Unmanned Innovation

University of Sydney UAV Team



Swinburne UAV


Roland Schreier

Latitude 38S UAV Team
Lattitude 38S UAVs Penguin airframe

The winning documentary entry


David Hobby, Mani Riederich and Andy Smith


Team Robota did well getting out to the search area but had a communications failure which forced a flight abort. Their airframe could be used again.

Team Skylight

Steinhorst Eduardo Damasceno – Pilot, designer and developer of hardwareand software shipped.

Flavio de Oliveira Stutz – Designer and developer of control systems, navigation and groundstation.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Engineering

BTE Super Hauler
University of North Dakota Team


Follow their blog, set up the day before they left for the competition http://unduav.blogspot.com

The winning flight.

Schools Challenges

Airborne Delivery Challenge

The Mission

An emergency package (shape and size specified in rules) will be made available to competing teams, for use on the day of the competition.

Participants must develop an airborne delivery system that can deliver this package to a lost bushwalker.

The airborne vehicle will be remotely controlled by a human operator, known as the “UAV controller”.

On the test day, two hurdles will map out the course. The pilot must ensure that the UAV flies above these hurdles. The target zone will appear between the hurdles.

The delivery of the payload will be controlled by a human operator, known as the mission manager. The mission manager’s zone will be marked on the test day and will be a 2m x 2m square. The mission manager and associated equipment must be located within this square at all times during the mission. The mission manager’s area will be enclosed with a barricade around the edges and covered from the top for safety. The mission manager will NOT be able to see the target zone during the competition and will NOT be able to communicate with the UAV controller during the drop sequence. The control of the delivery mechanism must be made by the mission manager, independently of the actions of the UAV controller. The mission manager must remotely deploy the package such that it lands in the centre of the target zone.

Points will be awarded based on the time required to complete the mission and the proximity of the package to the target. A total of three drops will be allowed in 20 minutes. The participant’s best result will be used for judging.

MUROC Falcons

MUROC Mozzies

MUROC tigerMoths

The Guardians Aviation High

Wings Above Aviation High

RDHA Perpetual Motion Squad


Better luck next time

Project Andromeda

Project Andromedas airframe



Rescue Robotics

Borjet Maja Rescue Robotics

Adam Amos


Skynet UAV

Skynet UAV



Joesph Colfs

Untitled from Joseph Colfs on Vimeo.

Team Rocky

Mike Boland

Team Skylight

Javelin UAS




Team Javelin



Team Javelin UAS – UAV OBC D2 2010 from Javelin UAS on Vimeo.

Persian Gulf  UAV




They say there going….



Perhaps next time.