The UAV Challenge Medical Express rules have been released.

PDF here:


Brief overview of the 2016 OBC rules:

  1. Two aircraft are allowed that can detach/reattach to eachother > one as retrieval aircraft and one for support > both can be airborne at the same time
  2. Range required +20km but no more than 30km through «bent» geofenced transit corridor – waypoints might backtrack, but will be at least 250m apart
  3. The RF Link range required is approximately 10km
  4. 1500ft AGL alttiude restriction
  5. 25knot average wind over 10 minutes will cancel the event (which is higher than last time)
  6. Joe GPS coordinates that are provided are within 100m of Joe. One must locate him and land no closer than 30m, but no further away from Joe than 80m – distance away is scored at 2 points per meter – Joe has lost his colorful shirt but kept his jean pants on – phew!
  7. payload to be picked up is 20x100mm and no more than 100g and must be returned intact back to base.
  8. aircraft must remain motionless for 1 minute after landing near Joe before Joe will approach to place payload – Takeoff Arm switch is required by Joe at pickup location with one minute takeoff delay after activation
  9. Biggest points are for delivering intact sample back to base
  10. Only the top 20 ranking teams through D1-D3 will get to go (based on paperwork and videos) – That will be tough
  11. Might not be at Kingaroy this time…

No specifics are given to the makeup of the Joe takeoff landing site or base site, apart from that it will «impede low glideslope landings». So this could allow something like a Skywalker X8 with a quadcopter strapped underneath to launch and fly to location, identify and locate Joe exactly, then detach the quad for payload retrieval, while the X8 stays above the landing zone as RF relay until quad is released to takeoff, then both can head back with the X8 arriving first and possibly landing with a parachute and then the quad with payload some minutes later. A single VTOL might be nice but you’d have to land/takeoff blind without RF link. Helicopters welcome.

Shouldn’t be too hard…. I think I have the gear for that here already. Time to dig out old Tinker Bell and send her back to get Joe! 😉

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