Foxtrot is a student-run team based in Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology (GIKI), which specializes in building planes, drones, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
With the passion for developing UAVs and the intention of representing Pakistan and GIKI internationally, the team competes in the UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Challenge which is hosted annually in the United Kingdom by IMechE (Institution of Mechanical Engineers).
Team Foxtrot is divided into several sub-teams namely: Design, Fabrication, Automation Systems, Imaging Systems, and Testing.
About the IMechE UAS Challenge:
For the past seven years, the IMechE UAS Challenge has been held in the UK. The challenge main goal of the challenge is to train and develop professional engineers, providing them with a dynamic and specialised environment to hone their problem-solving abilities.
A plethora of teams from around the world competes in this challenge. They perform timed tasks and follow a strict set of guidelines by performing a full design and building cycle of UAS with specific goals prioritised. The main task for each team is to construct a UAV for the tasks to be completed successfully.
These include area search, waypoint navigation, endurance task, dropping an aid package correctly and consequently returning to the base via a well-defined route.
The challenge is divided into three major stages, which are as follows:
Team Foxtrot has been competing in the IMechE UAS Challenge in the United Kingdom (UK), and in the debut year of the challenge, we won the “Highest Place New Entrant Award of 2019” and stood amongst the Top 10 participating teams from across the globe.
Last year, in 2021, Team Foxtrot bagged the Business Proposition Award, while also finishing in an esteemed 5th place in the competition. The team also scored a perfect 15/15 score on its First Design Review: a feat that is worthy of appraisal.
In this year’s challenge, the Team scored another perfect score of 20/20 on its Preliminary Design Review. For our achievements, we were warmly welcomed by national media as we were invited for interviews by Expresso, Neo News, and PTV World.
Team Foxtrot also organises STEM outreach programs in schools to enlighten them about the endless possibilities and opportunities in the world of engineering and to empower girls who are interested in the field.
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It focuses on enabling young minds to acquire UAV-related cognitive skills and teaching pupils about the practical applications of autonomous UAVs in the present period, including their use in humanitarian aid missions.
Generous sponsors have enabled us to receive these accolades in a short period. Our previous partners include HBL, E-Wall, and FFC whereas Smart Hobby and Woot Tech are our current ones.
This Year’s Challenger:
This year’s project, Barq, is designed to complete all core tasks of the challenge besides the optional tasks of Endurance and Area Search. Project Barq is a CTOL (Conventional Take-Off and Landing) design having a tri-motor configuration to enable short take-off and precision landing within a limited 10 x 10 m area.
The aircraft uses a V-tail and glider wings to combat air resistance and is fabricated by carbon fibre and polystyrene to maximize the strength to weight ratio; this also gives it high manoeuvrability and enhanced endurance capability.
In addition, it has retractable landing gears and a maximum take-off mass of 9.3 kg with payload carrying capacity of up to 3.5 kg. It can fly to speeds of up to 60 knots and employs reverse-thrust mechanism.
With appreciative feedback from the IMechE and all members working hard in their respective domains, Project Barq is all set to fly high and make us all proud in the 2022 UAS Challenge.