Develop and implement a fixed wing UAV to be used as a pre-emptive measure to stop rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park

Issues Involved or Addressed

The fixed wing UAV needs to have an endurance of two hours to effectively find, track and report the poachers' location to the ground rangers. This involves a high spec camera with thermal imaging to find the poachers which would have tripped a ground network. The UAV will have to be launched from a catapult and reach the alarm location in the shortest amount of time and then go into a holding pattern upon target identification. Research into autopilot integration with a onboard processor for autonomous flight. The aircraft needs to be light weight and quiet.

Methods and Technologies

  • Pixhawk
  • Composite work
  • CNC Manufacturing
  • Aircraft Design
  • Aerodynamics
  • Propulsion systems
  • Structure mechanics
  • Electrical, Electronics and Avionics

Academic Majors of Interest

  • Aeronautical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electronic Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering

Preferred Interests and Preparation

Aeronautical engineering
Engineering Design
Systems Engineering
Remote Sensing

Team Advisors

Dr. Lelanie Smith