2019 Student UAS Competition

Centre d’Excellence sur les Drone – CED Alma, Québec  May 3 – 5,  2019

The purpose of the competition is to promote and develop Canadian expertise and experience in unmanned systems technologies at the university and college levels. Even small scale unmanned vehicles are complex systems requiring a well planned and executed design approach.  In addition, safety considerations are important factors in this competition as in any other vehicle design project.
The students have been faced with real life scenarios involving the environment, agriculture, mining, transportation and oil and gas sectors. Each team is a “company” and makes a pitch as to why the customer should select them to solve the problem. During the flying phase they must locate the scenario components, collect the data and provide analysis in a written report to their “customer”, all within the time limit. The competition is designed and judged by a dedicated group of Unmanned Systems Canada volunteers, and supported by local volunteers and industry sponsors.
The competition takes place in two phases:
Phase I – a design report from each team due January 13th 2019 at 5 pm EST; and
Phase II – the operational flying demonstration, 3- 5 May 2019 at Centre d’Excellence sur les Drone – CED Alma, Québec.
Once registered, the team must successfully complete phase l – the design paper, then successfully fly their UAS confirmed in a qualifying video prior to competing in the phase ll. Teams will be graded on the quality and completeness of their design report and the results of the demonstrations – there will be separate prizes for each phase. The format of the competition is designed to be an equal challenge for both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft.


To be eligible, students must be registered in a full time program at a Canadian university or college. There can be more than one team per school, but each member may only belong to one team.


Competitions have been held in locations in the east, Quebec and Manitoba, with participation expanding from 3 to 16 teams representing universities and colleges from Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and BC.  To streamline the logistics and maximize participation from coast to coast, the competition host will alternate between the Centre d’exellence sur les drones (CED) and the City of Alma, Québec in 2017 and Southport, Manitoba in the alternate years.


This is a “made in Canada” Simulated BVLOS UAS Student Competition.  Although the UAV will be required to go Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS), the competition spotters will have it in sight at all times.
UAVs are currently used by utility companies to inspect the condition of their hardware particularly in remote places.  With the increase in the use of solar panels that cover large areas, the UAV is able to inspect the general condition of the solar farm and also capturing detailed images of each panel providing precise information. This allows the company to understand the scope of the repair and get the job done more efficiently.
The mission for the competition is to provide support to a utility company after a wind storm, including surveying a field of solar panels (solar farm) with the UAV not in operator line of sight, locating any major damage to individual solar panels, identifying significant changes to the solar field, and placing inspection markers adjacent to critical cells on damaged panels.


Thanks to the enthusiasm and support from past sponsors, each year the bar is raised to attract first class teams with innovative ideas.  This world class event provides opportunities for the best and brightest to display leadership, real world problem solving and team work all in a stressful competitive environment; a real-life job interview. Results have paid off as a number of UAS competitors have been hired by a sponsoring company.  When tested on the international stage, our Canadian teams not only take home various awards, but consistently place at or near the top. Canada is on the UAS Podium!  To become involved as a sponsor, and invest in these talented students, the future of the Canadian UAS sector, check out the sponsorship brochure or contact [email protected]        



In advance of on line registration and payment, teams are asked to send an email to [email protected] to indicate their intent to register.
Once activated teams can pay the $500 registration fee by  November 9th 2018.   This does not cover student expenses.  Once the design paper is accepted and the team advances to Phase II,  the $250 fee for each student to cover meals and accommodation can be paid by  April  5th, 2019.

Team Member fee






Competition Documents