Beluga 2017

Beluga is the Robotics Association's entrant in the 2017 Student Unmanned Aerial Systems competition.


The Seafarer Chapter of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) continues the Student UAS Competition aimed at stimulating and fostering interest in unmanned systems, technologies and careers. The focus is on engaging students in systems engineering a total solution to a challenging mission, requiring the design, fabrication and demonstration of a system capable of completing a specific autonomous aerial operation.


Concept of Operations

An earthquake has impacted a small island nation in the Caribbean. Several boatloads of pirates who have been operating in the area have landed and are attempting to take advantage of the ensuing chaos. The overwhelmed local government has put out a call for help and the US Marines have responded. Their tasking includes humanitarian relief and security. Your unmanned aerial system (UAS) is supporting their mission with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). In order to support them, your UAS must comply with Special Instructions (SPINS) for departure and arrival procedures, and then remain within assigned airspace. It will be tasked to search an area for items of interest, and may be tasked to conduct point reconnaissance if requested. Additionally, the UAS may be tasked to relay data from a third party Simulated Remote Information Center (SRIC). Immediate ISR tasking may be requested outside currently assigned airspace, causing the UAS operators to request deviations.

Beluga 2017

  • Skywalker X8 Platform
  • Wingspan: 2.1m
  • Motor: T-Motor MN5208
  • Propellor: 15x8 Carbon Reinforced, folding
  • On-board computer: NVidia Jetson TX1
  • Camera: 5MP Point Grey Chameleon 3
  • 2-axis brushless camera gimbal
  • Autopilot: 3DRobotics Pixhawk Mini
  • Battery type: Aptus Aerospace Long Endurance Lithium-Ion Batteries