UBC AeroDesign - Greetings & Pre-Competition Post

Hello everyone!

UBC AeroDesign is an aerospace student engineering design team from the University of British Columbia that designs, builds, and flies payload-lifting, radio-controlled, fixed-wing airplanes to compete in the international SAE Aero Design Collegiate Series.

Over the previous year, the Cube Orange+ and Here3 GPS from CubePilot have played an integral role in UBC AeroDesign’s Advanced Class aircraft success. The 2023 SAE Aero Design Advanced Class competition requires the aircraft to fly a circuit while carrying a water payload while tracking and acquiring GPS coordinates of randomly placed targets on the airfield to release an autonomous aircraft (PADA) to land on the desired target. This complex mission required our team to develop a sophisticated avionics system over the years to tackle this challenge.

During the months leading up to the competition, our team utilized the Cube Orange+ and Here3 GNSS systems as the centrepiece of our avionics system to test various features. Such features included: tuning the controls of the aircraft, sending mission-critical information to our ground station over telemetry radio, and flying the PADA autonomously to the target using GPS guidance. We are extremely grateful to CubePilot for sponsoring our team with additional hardware, allowing us to conduct more test flights and cementing our confidence in having a successful competition.

Below are photos of our prototype aircraft during a test flight and a drone powered by the Cube as an avionics testbed: