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1st place for Team PHOENIX at the Dassault UAV Challenge 2023

Published on

24 May 2024

Bryan Cabrera Ramirez and the rest of the PHOENIX team at ISAE-SUPAERO, created to take part in the Dassault UAV Challenge competition, were selected for the finals held on April 29 and 30, 2023, which enabled them to present their project for delivering medical supplies by drone.

What is the Dassault UAV Challenge?

Organized by Dassault Aviation, the competition is aimed at engineering schools. The selected teams are tasked with building a drone capable of flying well and executing a given mission.

Introduce us to your team

Bryan Cabrera Ramirez

Our PHOENIX team represented ISAE-SUPAERO. We built a fixed-wing drone capable of flying at heights of between 10 m and 50 m, and ballistically leave a payload (normally a first-aid kit) on a QR marker that remains on the earth’s surface. This mission is designed to provide emergency aid in areas where a natural disaster has occurred (earthquake, flood, etc.). The aircraft must complete the mission automatically.

How did you design your drone?

Our drone is trained to fly slowly (10 – 13 m/s) with a stall speed of 8 m/s, in order to search for the QR marker with an on-board camera under the aircraft’s fuselage. This drone was built at the FABLAB facility, with balsa for the fuselage and foam wings to make it light to carry, maximize lift and save drag. The avionics inside have been designed to fly safely (beacons by law enforcement), know the health of the aircraft (power indicators, autonomy, etc.), localize (GPS etc.,) and is equipped with a camera and an on-board computer for recognition and control of the drone’s navigation (Raspberry Pi 4 and Pixhwak4).

How did the competition go?

On the day of the competition, we were able to demonstrate all the aircraft’s functionalities: demonstrating the mandatory requirements relating to the law that regulates aircraft (DGAC in France) and the rules of the competition by executing the mandatory mission. We were also able to demonstrate optional requirements such as endurance. We passed all the stages and were named winners of the competition.

How was the Foundation’s funding used?

The amount received by the Fondation ISAE-SUPAERO was used to obtain materials for the construction of the aircraft: wood, foam, carbon fiber bars, etc. We also invested this amount in avionics: cameras, electronic plates using electrical power distribution, communications receivers, etc. All structural materials have been purchased in duplicate to enable rapid replacement in the event of loss or damage.

Any final words?

All of us, the members of Team “PHOENIX”, representing ISAE-SUPAERO at the Dassault UAV Challenge 2022-2023, are extremely grateful for your action as a partner in this project, a well-finalized project in which we ourselves have learned to seek funding and to manage a project financially. Once again, many thanks for your understanding and for believing in us. We wish you every success in your future projects.

I want to support projects like that of the PHOENIX team.