Project Thunderbird is UBC UAS’s fixed wing and aerial reconnaissance project. The Thunderbird series of Unmanned Aircraft Systems provides the team with a reliable in air systems with a high payload capacity, long endurance missions, and can survey large scale areas with ease.
The Thunderbird aircraft are based on the Cyclops C airframe and are generously sponsored by our partner AsiaTech Drones. The team is currently working to modify the aircraft for use with landing gear and catapult launch systems in preparation for the Unmanned Systems Canada Student Competition. With these modifications our goal is to have the aircraft in the air within five minutes of being given the go ahead for flight, survey a large area of interest, and return to base for a smooth touchdown.
Each aircraft is capable of carrying several kilograms worth of payload and gives us the ability to use high resolution DSLR cameras, stereo-vision imaging systems, and pack in more batteries to extend flight times.
Project Sparrow was created in an effort to react to recent changes in the UAS industry and the Unmanned Systems Canada Student Competition in which the team competes. Due to a new influx of quick launch drones, as well as the recent time limit constraints of the competition, the team created the Sparrow Unmanned Aircraft System.
With this aircraft we are able to hand launch from a moment’s notice and be in the air within seconds. The aircraft is equipped with the same surveying equipment as the larger Thunderbird aircraft, however is extremely compact and lightweight in comparison. With this aircraft the team is able to take large area surveys at a high altitude and return to base quickly, efficiently, and smoothly.