Northrop Grumman Corporation is sponsoring, for the third consecutive year, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ annual Unmanned Aircraft Systems Challenge as part of the company’s global commitment to encourage innovative thinking in engineering and technology, and inspire young engineers of the future.
Student engineers from twenty-two universities across the UK and overseas have signed-up as participants in the competition.
The teams are required to undertake the full design and build of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) and to demonstrate its operation in a humanitarian supply mission scenario. The aircraft will be required to operate remotely, performing a series of tasks such as area search, navigating waypoints, accurately dropping a payload and returning to base via a defined route. Additionally, the teams are tested on the commercial viability of their solutions throughout the competition. The competition will see these young engineers taking on other teams in a live ‘fly-off’ final, where they will be challenged to transport an aid package as rapidly and accurately as possible.
"Unmanned aircraft systems have been transformational in the past decade and now have a wide range of proven applications not just in defence but also in civil missions such as environmental monitoring, humanitarian relief, search and rescue, and disaster relief operations," said Andrew Tyler, chief executive, Northrop Grumman Europe. "This competition provides an opportunity for students to broaden their understanding of UAS technologies and learn practical aerospace engineering skills which we hope will help to encourage them to pursue careers in engineering."
Northrop Grumman is committed to building partnerships with education and to supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programmes at schools and universities. The company participates in a number of educational programs in countries around the world that are aimed at promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.