Michel Gorraz launches the Dragon Slayer for the ENAC team
Two Paparazzi teams, ENAC/Miraterre and Martin Mueller/Christian Lindeberg won 2nd and 3rd place at the MAV06 competition. Unfortunately, both teams had insufficient video resolution to identify the 1.5m ground target required for high-scoring and the winning prize went to Bringham Young University who was able to identify 2 of the 3 targets with a Panasonic KX-141 camera and an unusually narrow 30 degree FOV lens. The Bringham Young team used the Procerus Kestrel autopilot (originally developed at the university) and obviously practiced video target recognition much more than the rest of us. Flight performance and navigation for both Dragon Slayers and the Black One was exceptional as usual. All planes performed flawless autonomous takeoffs and landings and the Slayer performed an autonomous paintball drop with wind-corrected precision that put the ball within 3 meters of the designated target from an altitude of 40 meters in a 5 m/s wind. As luck would have it, the stress of managing two aircraft from a single ground station during an intense competition, aggravated by a misbehaving GPS in one of the planes that required a power and flight-plan reset just prior to launch resulted in us neglecting to re-input the target coordinates and the ball was dropped accurately on the default target location, not the actual target location provided by the judges just prior to flight.