Manual Flight (Semifinal Round)

Based upon the combined autonomous flight round and research portfolio scores from the preliminary round, the top twelve (12) teams will be chosen to compete in the semifinal round. The top 12 semifinalist teams will get a chance to show off their piloting skills as they manually pilot their drone through a new set of missions. The manual missions are completely different from the autonomous missions and are not revealed until the day of the semifinal round.

Manual Missions

Only one (1) team at a time competes during the round.

Manual missions are completely different from autonomous missions.

Missions are a surprise and are not revealed until the day of the semifinal round.

Missions will vary from year to year

Various points will be assigned for each mission accomplished. It is a skills competition, not a race.

Missions do not need to be navigated in any specific order. Points are awarded based on successfully navigating individual missions.

The round lasts 2-1/2 (2:30) minutes, and the timer never pauses.

Participants will be given up to two (2) attempts to achieve their best score based on the discretion of the event coordinator.

The manual missions, mission locations within the netted airspace, and mission point values will be posted the day of the semifinal round.

Airspace

All missions are flown within a netted airspace. The airspace consists of two (2) straight leg canopy tents fastened together to form a flying envelope approximately 20 ft. long x 10 ft. wide x 6 ft. high. Netting is hung to isolate the drones from participants and spectators (see Figures 1 & 2).

Figure 1: Drone Technology Airspace consisting of two (2) 10 ft. x 10 ft. straight leg canopy tents
Figure 2: Drone Technology Airspace consisting of two (2) 10 ft. x 10 ft. straight leg canopy tents

Pilot and Spotter

Only one (1) team member will be allowed in the pilot area. This team member will serve as the pilot and may only control the drone from within the pilot area.

A second team member will serve as the spotter.

The spotter must remain outside the netted airspace while power is applied to the drone propellers.

If the drone unintentionally stops outside the landing zone during the round and no power is applied to the drone propellers, the spotter may enter the netted airspace, pick up the drone, and move it back to the helipad for an additional flight. If the drone is handled outside the landing zone, there will be a penalty.

If the team consists of one (1) participant, the participant may act as both the pilot and the spotter.

If the team consists of two (2) participants, the pilot and spotter may switch roles at any time, but only one (1) team member will be allowed in the pilot area.

More Information

To read the complete rules and guidelines for the manual flight round, please download the Event Guide.