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AUVSI’s Tenth Annual Student Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) Competition

Contact: Sara Summers | June 2012

AUVSI NOAA Demonstration Image

NOAA demonstrates a balloon with an instrument package that can be used to take meteorological observations.

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) held its Tenth Annual Student Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) Competition on June 13-17 at Paxutent River Naval Air Station Webster Field in Lexington Park, MD.  The NOAA UAS program provided some support sponsor of this year’s competition aimed at stimulating and fostering interest in UAS technology and encouraging careers in the field.  

Twenty-eight teams from universities in the US, Canada, India and Turkey, plus two high schools participated in this year’s competition. 

NOAA gave a demonstration using a tethered 6 foot diameter balloon with an instrument package that can be used to take meteorological observations.  Louis Wasson from Mississippi State University, a NOAA partner, spoke about the information that NOAA receives from the sensors suspended from balloons, which provide valuable information to the National Weather Service for forecast models, and can provide valuable information about weather events such as hurricanes.

The students were very interested and asked excellent questions.  At the end of the presentation Joe Brannan, the competition organizer, informed the students that a balloon component would be incorporated into next year’s competition.

The AUVSI Foundation provides students with the opportunity to experience fun, hands-on activities that advance STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, and in support of STEM.  

For more information on the competition visit: http://www.auvsi-seafarer.org/news-events/2012-competition.aspx

Contact:  Sara Summers at sara.summers@noaa.gov