June 21, 2024

Pax Partnership Congratulates AUVSI Student Winners

AUVSI Student Competition

Posted by The Patuxent Partnership
Leading Edge

The Patuxent Partnership, one of the sponsors of this year’s AUVSI Student Unmanned Aerial System competition held last week at Webster Outlying Field in St. Inigoes, Maryland, would like to congratulate the winners of the contest.

University of Sherbrooke, located in Quebec, Canada, beat out the other registered teams competing.

This year’s teams had to use remotely piloted aircraft to capture images of small targets on the ground below, as well as locate and fly over a ground sensor transmitting information into the sky.

“There is a smaller flight search area, but with more requirements for how you fly the area,” explained Tim Gjernes, team lead from Simon Fraser University in Canada.

“I went and saw part of it on Friday and attended the Saturday awards banguet,” said Dr. Ed Barrett, vice president of the Pax Partnership and chairman of its science and technology committee. “The highlights of the competition were observing the teams in their tents, in the pits.”

The Partnership contributed $5,000 to help fund the competition. Barrett said he watched teams overcome broken parts and uncooperative technology to complete their objectives. He was also impressed with the level of sportsmanship between teams, which aided each other.

“They would contribute some parts and some tools to help [other competitors] finish the competition,” Barrett said.


This year also saw the addition of a new prize for teams that entered the competition with an unmanned helicopter. Utah State University, whose fixed-wing UAS won the competition last year, and Kansas State University entered vehicles in that area of competition.

“The American Helicopter Society provided a specific $1,000 prize for the best rotary wing team,” said competition director Joe Brannan.

In all, 29 teams participated, seven of which were from international universities. While most of the teams were comprised of college students, two local high schools from Maryland and Virginia also had teams participating.

“I think this competition is really great especially for educational purposes,” Kim Nguyen, team member for North Carolina State University, said. “People are volunteering their time to improve not only the government, but also society because they’re contributing to these systems we really need to think about.”

Barrett added, “The AUVSI competition was right in line with the Pax Partnership’s mission,” and said the competition brings notoriety to the capabilities of the local military and civilian organizations in the Southern Maryland region.


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