2016 UAV Competition : Unmanned Systems Canada

written by Marie

Last updated on: January 6, 2017

Published on August 22, 2016

Unmanned Systems Canada

Drone Competition

Small problems on the drone

Story of my trip to Portage – La Prairie, Manitoba to participate in an inter-university competition of unmanned aerial vehicles – or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). I had the chance to make this trip accompanied by my student club Dronolab.

This Canadian Interuniversity competition was held from 29 April to 1 May. The aim of the competition is to promote and develop Canadian expertise in regard to unmanned aerial systems. During the event, teams are given a concrete mandate that may involve environmental, agriculture, oil, gas, etc.

Long Drive

We left Tuesday, April 26 around 22:30. We are a group of 12 members of the club with 2 cars and a trailer. I’m lucky, I could be in the Sierra Toyota for the trip. 😉


We left at 22:30 but we still haven’t eaten so we stopped at McDonald’s. For lunch we stop around 7:00 am at Tim Hortons in Ontario, one hundred kilometers before Sudbury.

It was really nice to see a bit of my own country. I had never been away as Ontario. For dinner, we were at Subway, where I had a salad after all the fast food we took (I was not really the end of my troubles)! We arrived at the hotel around 20:30, settled, then at 21:30 we hit the road again to go to a restaurant. We went to The Sovereign in Thunder Bay! I made a salad with Halloumi cheese and it was really delicious!

The next morning, April 27, we hit the road at 10am. For dinner, we had no choice but to stop dinner Ignatius. The only restaurant that was there before another 200 km was Subway!

We arrived at Southport around 18h. I can tell you we were VERY happy!


The Competition Starts

Friday – April 29, 2016

The day started very early today. Lunch is served at 6:30 … A little too soon to everyone’s taste!

8am – 11am: Oral presentations of the drones for all clubs

12pm : Having dinner. Subway, again! I think no team will want to eat Subway for next year!

5:45pm : Our 15-minute flight finally arrived. A lot of stress, but despite some problems we have stolen our two drones.

7pm : Supper. We had pizza!

8pm : Presentation of the event sponsors



Saturday – April 30, 2016

8:30am : We wake up

5:45pm : 45-minute flight! It was not a lot of photos and the gimbal did not work nor the GPS so we do not have the precise coordinates of the target.

7pm : We had a barbecue!

Until 2am : I worked with two other members to estimate the location of the target on Google Earth. To do this, we looked at the photos and videos and identified in the field where it was located. For example, the airstrip had several cracks so we could use them to locate! Subsequently, the team can use this information to fly over these areas to have more precise pictures for flights tomorrow!

Sunday – May 1, 2016

10am : We wake up later today! Some team members have not slept all night to work on our infrared cameras on raspberry pi.

1:15pm : 30-minute flight. We got photos and did the drop of toilet paper on the target. We managed to be relatively accurate. By cons, we have not had time to treat the pictures and finish the report well within the prescribed time (1 hour).

2:15pm : Submission of the report and the Excel document containing the coordinates of the target

7pm : Dinner “banquet” with all the teams and judges (with unlimited wine)!


Finally, I really enjoyed this beautiful journey with my team. Since I am a new member and I’m more than software, it’s a lot of vocabulary to digest for someone like me who knows nothing at all drones and electronics. This trip allowed me to learn a lot!

Photo de l'équipe Dronolab

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Alex November 18, 2020 - 6:57 pm

Nice story Marie, I really loved the way of your presentation. I am really intrested in drons that made me read this story. And your blog is really good.

Marie November 25, 2020 - 10:54 pm

Thank you Alex!


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