A student team from The Department of Mechanical Engineering was awarded the Second Runner-up (Navigated Flight Category) in the 2015 Taiwan Innovative Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (UAV) Design Competition among 59 teams from universities and institutes all over the world. Named “PolyU-Hunter", the team was led by Professor WEN Chih-yung and Assistant Professor Dr RUAN Haihui of The Department, with PhD student SUN Jingxuan (team leader), undergraduate students CHAN Pui Chuen, FU Kwan Lun, LAM Chun Ming, NG Ho Lun, TSANG Kit Ying, WONG Ho Yin as members. It is the third time that a university team from Hong Kong was honored in this regional competition organized by National Cheung Kung University (NCKU) since its launch in 2007.
The team was asked to build an unmanned aircraft vehicle from scratch and integrate its design with advanced Global Positioning System (GPS) technology for locating the position of the UAV and that of the missing object. By integrating different systems, “PolyU-Hunter” is controlled by an autopilot (based on Pixhawk) system and can do ISR missions outsight; onboard avionic system, including AAT and OSD, can transfer the real-time video and flight information to the ground station; the image processing system can do targeting and mapping automatically.
On top of the rescue mission, the entrants were graded on five items – the ability to identify the type and quantity of rescue targets, initial coordinates, accurate coordinates, return to base safely and submit final report. The whole mission including submission of the final report must be completed within 40 minutes. The PolyU team is the only team who had found all the missing targets and the coordinate biases were within 1 meter.
Aviation expert Professor Wen Chih-yung is pleased to see that “PolyU-Hunter” designed by PolyU students has successfully demonstrated its capability to fly and meet the challenge of inspecting a wide region under the satellite navigation and identify targets based on real-time video recording. He added that such UAV technology can be used not only in rescue mission but also other applications such as border control.
The UAV competition organized by National Cheng Kung University is well acknowledged as one of the key UAV events in the world with recognition from the community, governmental agencies, universities and industrial partners. It covers five categories: Fundamental Design (Engine), Fundamental Design (Motor), Advanced Design, Navigated Flight and Flapping Wing Vehicle. The competition was held on NCKU campus in Southern Taiwan from 15 to 17 May 2015.