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Imagine yourself as part of a disaster relief team searching a city struck by a devastating earthquake. Buildings and bridges are damaged, roads and walkways blocked by rubble, electrical lines intermingled with debris, and a number of people hurt and missing. The urban environment poses serious challenges to your mission. Movement is slow due to debris. Structure remains along with rubble severely limit the area your team can search. Cities extend upwards and underground, therefore searches need to include the upper floors of potentially damaged buildings and below street level where people may be trapped in subways, collapsed basements or any of the tunnels that crisscross the city.
Now imagine this same environment but the difference is you and your team are augmenting the search for survivors using a sUAS of your design—a system specifically developed by your team to support a search for survivors by providing real time video in these devastated regions. The system should consist of a small lightweight air vehicle so that it is not a burden on teams already overloaded with gear, while at the same time be rugged enough to operate in harsh conditions. First responders won’t have spare time for extended training so the system should be simple to learn, operate, and maintain. The video camera system should be capable of identifying people and operating in low light conditions. The air vehicle should be capable of flight for a minimum of 15 minutes at one time, with follow-on flights experiencing minimal delays. The innovative design your team develops is the key to your success.
The deadline for submissions is September 22, 2017. We’ll announce semi-finalists on the Innovation Challenge portal September 29, 2017. Semi-finalists will then present their proposal to the review committee on October 11-12, 2017 and finalists announced on October 13, 2017. Finalists will receive funding to design and build their proposed solution. A fly-off competition will be conducted at the conclusion of the Innovation Challenge. The winner will be announced at the conclusion of the fly-off.
Proposal Submission Deadline
September 22, 2017
Imagine yourself as part of a disaster relief team searching a city struck by a devastating series of earthquakes. Buildings and bridges are damaged and collapsed, roads and walkways blocked with rubble, electrical and utility lines intermingled with debris, and throughout the desolated city people are hurt and missing. You and your team are operating in these austere conditions. Laden with safety gear, first aid equipment, food and water you and your team begin fighting against time as you slowly pick your way through the rubble to find and help people trapped in the city ruins.
The urban environment poses serious challenges to your team’s mission. Movement is slow due to the debris. The remains of structures and rubble severely limit the area your teams can search at any given time. Cities extend both upward and underground. Searches need to extend into the upper floors of potentially damaged buildings and below street level where people may be trapped in dark and partially collapsed basements, subways, and the tunnels that crisscross cities. Night makes it all but impossible to safely continue searching.
Now imagine this same environment but the difference is you and your team are augmenting the search for survivors using a sUAS of your design - a system specifically developed by your team to support a search for survivors by providing real time video in these devastated regions. The system should consist of a small lightweight air vehicle so that it is not a burden on teams already overloaded with gear, while at the same time be rugged enough to operate in harsh conditions. First responders won’t have spare time for extended training so the system should be simple to learn, operate, and maintain. The video camera system should be capable of identifying people and operating in low light conditions. The air vehicle should be capable of flight for a minimum of 15 minutes at one time, with follow-on flights experiencing minimal delays.
The innovative design your team develops is the key to your success.
The challenge has a number of objectives, in particular to:
Only one submission shall be submitted per team.
By submitting participants accept all provisions of the Official Rules and agree to abide by all decisions made by the ASURE.
ASURE reserves the right to change, postpone or cancel any aspect of the competition for any reason.
Submissions must be received no later than September 22, 2017 at 11:59PM (Arizona Time). Submission received after this time are not eligible to take part in the Innovation Challenge.
The competition is open to ASU undergraduate or graduate student 18 years of age and older. There is no size constraint to the number of students allowed on one team.
An ASU faculty member is required for each team as an advisor.
A team manager is required for each team. The team manager is team’s official liaison with ASURE. For the purposes of Innovation Challenge the team manager is responsible for scheduling the team’s activities and acting as a central point of contact for the team.
A team safety lead is required for each team. The team safety lead should ensure the team operates in a safe manner by reinforcing safe practices, leading the appropriate safety briefing and following the safety procedures.
The Innovation Challenge, while having a set of defined performance objectives to achieve, is as much about teamwork as it is innovation.
There is no entry fee required for participation in the Innovation Challenge.
Teams ultimately selected to move forward with design development will receive funding to support the development and testing. The funding amount will be determined by the evaluation committee based on the number of teams ultimately selected.
Each team will be required to keep a workbook documenting the use of the funds. The workbook must list the item, quantity, unit cost, and a link to the product and services purchased. Teams are also required to maintain all invoices and or receipts for any funds used for the Innovation Challenge and present these at the conclusion of the Innovation Challenge or when requested. An example workbook is posted on the Innovation Challenge website.
Drone Safety Officer
Intellectual Property (AzTE)
IP generated as a result of participating in the Innovation Challenge will be owned by the Arizona Board of Regents.
IP arising out of the Innovation Challenge will be managed by AzTE; they can be contacted at any time to answer your questions
Revenue generated by IP developed during the effort will be shared with ASU, ASURE and the developing team.
Teams should not publish on topics related to their designs or post images of their system to social media or other public venues until the teams have disclosed and discussed this information with AzTE, failure to do so may result in loss of certain IP rights.
|17 August 2017||Formal announcement of challenge and open for submissions.|
|22 September 2017||Innovation Challenge is closed for submissions.|
|29 September 2017||Semi-finalists announced. Semi-finalists begin developing and preparing for proposal presentations.|
|30 September 2017||Teams schedule Proposal Presentations (first come first serve)|
|11 October 2017||Teams conduct Proposal Presentations to the Innovation Challenge Committee|
|13 October 2017||Finalists are announced|
|14 October 2017||Innovation Challenge Kick-Off Meeting for all teams|
|13 November 2017||Teams schedule Initial Progress Check (first come first serve)|
|29 November 2017||Teams conduct Initial Progress Check|
|29 January 2018||Teams schedule Second Progress Check (first come first serve)|
|15 February 2018||Teams conduct Second Progress Check|
|29 March 2018||Teams schedule Final Progress Check (first come first serve)|
|18 April 2018||Teams conduct Final Progress Check|
|1 May 2018||Teams schedule capability demonstration and Fly-Off time (first come first serve)|
|10-11 May 2018||Capability demonstration and Fly-Off|
|11 May 2018||Awards Ceremony|
The Innovation Challenge has been designed to expose students to a number of disciplines they will need in their careers. Factors the evaluation team will be looking for include:
A team’s faculty advisor is responsible for providing adequate and appropriate space for system design, fabrication, development and bench testing (bench testing only, no flight testing).
Teams may utilize on campus facilities such as Instrument Design and Fabrication Core Facility, Manufacturing Research and Innovation Hub at Polytech campus, and the ASU Chandler Innovation Center or the "TechShop". These facilities offer a variety of services for a fee that would paid from the team’s budget.
The Innovation Challenge is to design, build, and demonstrate a sUAS capable of supporting a mission which is modeled on real life humanitarian aid scenarios. System Design Requirements defines the “shall have” capabilities that represent the minimum system capabilities. The Innovation Challenge seeks to test a number of requirements.
The System Design Requirements are the minimum capabilities the system shall have. The implementation of the requirements are up to the teams participating in the Innovation Challenge.
The inclusion of Enhanced System Capabilities above and beyond System Design Requirement are at the discretion of the team. However, these types of capabilities can create a more technological advanced and innovative solution. Teams must balance cost, capability, and schedule to ensure the enhanced capability can be integrated within the Innovation Challenge constraints. Examples of Enhanced System Capacities are listed below.
Enhanced System Capabilities should include features above the System Design Requirements that increase the ability of the system to support the Innovation Challenge.
The system SHALL NOT include these specific types, or those similar to designs or design elements.
Teams are expected to conduct methodical systems engineering approach to identify the requirements, selection of concept with a design to meet those requirements, and test to confirm that the actual system meets the requirements in practice.
Teams shall have design artifacts that define the hardware, software, electrical, and signal, designed to sufficient detail to support production of the system.
Key Performance Measures (KPM) should be identified by teams based upon their specific design. These include key requirements such as (but not limited to) weight, cost, and flight time. KPMs should estimate requirements to evaluate margins and compliance with requirements. Key Performance Measures shall be tracked over time until actual measurements are taken.
The Innovation Challenge Drone Safety Officer (DSO) is Jonathan Klane (Jonathan.Klane@asu.edu, 480-965-8498). Any questions regarding safety and safe operation of the system should be directed to the DSO.
All flights will be conducted in the indoor facility designed by the Innovation Challenge. At no time will any system be flown in any other facility, space, or area including outside.
NOTE: FLYING THE AIR VEHICLE ANYWHERE OTHER THAN THE DESIGNATED INDOOR FLYING FACILITY SHALL RESULT IN IMMEDIATE DISQUALIFICATION FROM THE INNOVATION CHALLENGE
A Flight Termination System (FTS) shall be incorporated as part of the design and is a mandatory requirement to participate in the fly-off event. The purpose of the FTS is to automatically initiate all relevant actions that halt all sUAS activity and force the system into low energy landing state. The FTS should be automatically implemented in the event the data links between the controller and sUAS are unintentionally lost or subject to interference / degradation. The FTS shall also be capable of manual selection should the Flight Safety Officer deem the sUAS’s behavior a threat to the maintenance of Air Safety (including persons, the building, materials, or other sUASs, etc.).
The actions of the FTS must aim to safely land the sUAS as soon as possible after initiation. The FTS shall be automatically initiated after 5 seconds of unintentional lost Uplink. The Uplink is defined as the data link which provides control inputs to the sUAS from the controller, including manual initiation of the FTS. The FTS should be automatically initiated promptly and no longer than 10 seconds after unintentional lost Downlink. The Downlink is defined as the data link which relays the sUAS’s telemetry / positional information and video feed to the controller.
A ‘Return to Home’ function is not acceptable as an FTS.
Review Committees are used to provide a multi-disciplined perspective of the Innovation Challenge proposals. Review Committee members are drawn from academia, agencies developing and soliciting UAS and UAV related technology, defense and aerospace industry, UAS enthusiasts, and technology developers.
Committee members apply a rubric and their specific perspective to evaluate designs during the initial submission phase. During design reviews the Review Committee evaluates the design of the system at a particular phase of development and provides teams with insight and guidance to address potential problems and enhance the capability being developed.
Members of the Review Committee who are not ASU or ASURE employees will sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement and Intellectual Property Rights waiver prior to attending the event.
The initial submission for the Innovation Challenge is a proposal that identifies the team taking part in the Innovation Challenge, including the Faculty Advisor and a description of the system being proposed.
Teams will complete the Initial Submission template and submit the package no later than September 22, 2017 at 11:59PM (Arizona Time). Submission received after this time are not eligible to take part in the Innovation Challenge. Eligible submissions are evaluated by the Review Committee based upon on innovation, technical merit, and ability to produce the solution. Based upon the proposal evaluation an initial down select will occur. Semi-finalists will be announced on September 29, 2017.
Semi-Finalists will be invited to present their solution to the Innovation Challenge Review Committee. The proposal presentation is an opportunity for teams to describe the capability, how the requirements will be implemented, and answer questions from the Review Committee.
Team will complete the Proposal Presentation template and submit the package no later than October 10, 2017 at 11:59PM. Submissions received after this time are disqualified from the Innovation Challenge.
Proposal presentation will occur on the 11th or 12th of October 2017. Teams will schedule their presentations on a first come first served basis. Scheduling for Proposal Presentation opens on September 30, 2017.
The Review Committee will evaluate the proposals based upon innovation, technical merit, and ability to produce the solution. Based upon an evaluation of the presentations a final down select will occur and the finalists announced on 13 October 2017.
Progress is monitored during the conceptualization, development, and production phases through a series of reviews with Review Committees and the teams. The primary goal of the review is to ensure the teams develop their intended solution and resolve any roadblocks to development.
Teams will schedule the specific time and date for their review using the Innovation Challenge website on a first come, first served basis. To the fullest extent possible the entire team is expected to be present and support the reviews.
The Initial Design Review evaluates the architecture of the system (and subsystems) to ensure the design has an expectation of being developed within the allotted budget and schedule and accomplish the goals of the Innovation Challenge. The review will assess the design documentation (conceptual design and specific hardware and software designs), cost estimates, Key Performance Measure, and risks to implementation.
Teams will complete the Initial Design Review template for this review and submit the review package prior to the review. The Initial Design review is anticipated to take approximately 15 minutes followed by a brief question and answer phase. Teams may add additional information into the back-up section of the briefing to add context and demonstrate the maturity of the design.
The Development/Production Review evaluates the maturity of the design and assesses the design's readiness for production. The review will focus on ability of the design to meet the team’s performance requirements and adequate design definition to support procurement, fabrication, and assembly.
Teams will complete the Development/Production Review template for this review and submit the review package prior to the review. The Development/Production readiness reviews are anticipated to take approximately 15 minutes followed by a brief question and answer phase. Teams may add additional information into the back-up section of the briefing to add context and demonstrate the maturity of the design.
The Flight/Test Readiness Review evaluates that the system has demonstrated it can safely fly, meet the requirements defined by the team, and complete the challenge. The review will focus on the built system and actual system performance.
Teams will complete the Flight/Test Readiness Review template for this review and submit the review package prior to the review. Flight/Test Readiness Review is anticipated to take approximately 10 minutes followed by static display and briefing of the developed system. Teams may add additional information into the back-up section of the briefing to add context and demonstrate the maturity of the design.
Teams will be required to develop and deliver a final report on the system No Later Than 1 June 2018. The report shall document the systems intended mission and the function of the key components that enable the capability. This should include a functional description of the major components and functions, software operation (major functions, interactions, and output), and operator interface.
An assessment of system performance during the Fly-Off should also be included the report. The assessment should describe performance during the Fly-Off but also an assessment of intended system role and actual performance.
The conclusion should include recommended updates to the system to address any shortcomings identified during the Innovation Challenge and or enable the full capability intended by the team.
The report is limited to 10 pages, 10 point font, double spaced.
After the design has been produced and is ready for flight a Safety Review shall be scheduled with the DSO. Teams will schedule the Safety Review directly with the DSO. The Safety Review may result in items to be resolved prior to issuance of an Authority To Operate (ATO). Once the ATO has been issued flight operations can be conducted in the designated indoor flying facility.
NOTE: THE TEAM SHALL NOT CONDUCT FLIGHT TESTING WITHOUT AN AUTHORITY TO OPERATE BY THE SAFETY OFFICER. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS RULE SHALL RESULT IN IMMEDIATE DISQUALIFICATION FROM THE INNOVATION CHALLENGE
Flight testing shall occur only in the designated indoor flying facility and only with systems that have received an ATO.
Flight testing will be scheduled through the Innovation Challenge website and will only be conducted during scheduled time. The team’s Faculty Advisor will be in attendance for all flight operations. If the faculty advisor cannot attend, coordinate with the DSO or ASURE for an appropriate alternate to attend. Only members of the team and the Innovation Challenge staff are permitted to attend any events that include flight operations.
The team’s safety lead will conduct a preflight safety briefing and ensure the team follows the flight operations checklist and conducts the event with a focus on safety.
The final phase of program is a fly-off event to evaluate the technical and operational capabilities developed by the various teams. A series of tasks will be used to assess the technical and operational performance of each team’s air vehicle, sensor package, and control station. The winner of the challenge will be selected by the Review Committee based upon the capabilities demonstrated during the fly-off event.
A detailed briefing will be given at the beginning of the fly-off event covering the logistics and timings of the event, rules and good conduct for safe operations, pre-flight briefings, etc.
Teams will also be given an order of events and strict time schedule for flight test. The schedule is necessarily tight and teams who are not ready to fly at their appointed slot time will be disqualified. It is expected that teams will arrive with a fully serviceable sUAS that is in good working condition.
The specific tasks and course layout will be announced at a later date.
The DSO shall have absolute discretion to refuse a team permission to fly, or to order the termination of a flight in progress. Only teams with an ATO will be eligible to enter the fly-off event.