2019-2020 Student UAS Competition Details

Southport Aerospace Centre – Southport, Manitoba May 1-3, 2020

CONOPS and rules V2.1 10 Oct 2019                           Registration Fee Payment

The purpose of the Unmanned Systems Canada / Systèmes Télécommandés Canada (USC-STC) Annual National Student Competitions are to promote and develop Canadian expertise and experience in unmanned and remotely piloted vehicle systems technologies at the university and college levels. Even small scale unmanned vehicles are complex systems requiring a well-planned and executed design approach.  As with any other vehicle design project, safety considerations and teamwork – and innovative thinking – are important factors in our Competitions.

Over the last 11 years of USC-STC Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Competitions, students have been faced with real-life scenarios in various sectors, from  agriculture to energy, mining to energy, and transportation, law enforcement and oil gas. Each team is considered a “company” that must make a pitch to the customer – our USC-STC Competition Judges – to propose why their company should be selected to solve the problem. During the flying phase of the completion, students must locate the scenario components, complete the tasks outlined in the CONOPS documents, then provide post-mission analysis in a written report to the customer within the time limits. The competition is designed and judged by a dedicated group of Unmanned Systems Canada / Systèmes Télécommandés Canada (USC-STC) volunteers and supported by local volunteers and industry sponsors.


This year’s challenge provides a “made in Canada” Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) scenario for students to address, as teams will be required to select, pick up and deliver various-sized packages from a mock health care facility to a remote location. Note that although the UAS will be required to fly Beyond Visual Line of Sight, the teams and competition spotters will have it in sight at all times.

Rapid response times and the ability to travel routes and distances not easily accessed by conventional methods make Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) a promising solution for delivering packages quickly and more efficiently.  Remotely piloted deliveries can be particularly beneficial for health care providers, emergency services teams and humanitarian aid workers, such as for applications such as:

  • Shuttling biological samples between facilities for testing
  • Delivering medication to the homes and hospital rooms of patients
  • Transporting emergency supplies such as portable AED’s (automated external defibrillators) to individuals in cardiac arrest to delivering anti-venom, Naloxone or epinephrine to individuals in need of life-saving medical attention

The possibilities that these innovative technologies can offer to communities and the health care industry have the potential to save time, resources and lives!  UAS medical-related deliveries are in early stages of implementation around the world, and testing has begun in Canada with companies such as InDro Robotics and Drone Delivery Canada. These companies received permission from Transport Canada to conduct test trial deliveries that required a lot of collaboration with aviation authorities and project partners such as Renfrew County Paramedics, London Drugs, and Canada Post. 

The Competition takes place in two phases:

  • Phase I- Design Paper: To qualify for this year’s Competition, the Team Design Papers are due by 5:00pm EST on January 12, 2020. They are graded on the quality and completeness of their design and ability to address the scenario.
  • Phase II – Competition: This year’s Competition is in Southport, Manitoba from May 1-3, 2020. Teams address three components during the weekend: a ‘Company Pitch’, the flying demonstration to address the scenario and their post-flight written report about the tasks.

Prizes are awarded for each phase along with three special categories at the closing Awards Dinner.

Eligibility and Steps to Apply for the 12th Annual UAS Student Competition

To be eligible to compete, students must be registered in a full-time program at a Canadian university or college. There can be more than one team per school, but each member may only belong to one team. For the 2019-2020 Competition, teams must:

  1. Apply by email now – Review this year’s CONOPS V2.1 10 OCt then email the Student Competition Committee at [email protected] now to express your interest to compete in May. You’ll get a reply with next steps.Phase 1 Design Paper due 5:00pm EST on January 12, 2020.
  2. Pay Registration Fee – by November 8 – pay non-refundable registration fee of $500+taxes 
  3. Phase 1 Design Paper due 5:00pm EST on January 12, 2020.
  4. Logistics Fee – April 3, 2020 Pay the non-refundable $250+taxes for each team member. Payment will be available on line following the Design Paper results. This heavily-subsidized participation fee covers the meals and accommodations on-site for each student during the weekend competition. Teams are encouraged to seek out sponsorships and subsidies to help cover travel costs.
  5. Compete May 1-3, 2020 in Southport, Manitoba. Details about accommodations, meals, travel tips and the weekend’s activities will be provided to participants in a pre-event conference call and communications in advance of the Competition. 

The format of the competition is designed to be an equal challenge for both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft.

Location and Logistics

Competitions have been held in locations across Canada and participation has grown from 3 to 16 teams representing universities and colleges from Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, and BC.  To streamline the logistics and maximize participation from coast to coast, the competition have alternated in recent years between the excellent facilities and crews of the Centre d’excellence sur les Drones (CED) and the City of Alma, Québec and Southport Aerospace Centre just outside of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. 


Thanks to the enthusiasm and support from past sponsors, we raise the bar each year to attract more first-class teams and innovative ideas. This world-class event provides opportunities for Canada’s best and brightest post-secondary students to display their skills in leadership, real world problem-solving and teamwork in one stressful competitive environment – a real-life job interview. Many past competitors have been hired by sponsors who attended the competitions, and we often stay connected as graduates join our national industry association and return to volunteer with future competitions or participate on various USC-STC Committees. 

Winning teams and sponsors are recognized in press releases, social media, newsletters and on Canada’s largest drone / remotely piloted vehicle sector ‘stage’ at the National Unmanned Canada Conference and Trade Show Awards Ceremony held each fall. When tested on the international stage, our Canadian teams not only take-home various awards but consistently place at the top of the field. Canada is often on the UAS Podium!

If you’d like information about sponsorship opportunities and benefits, please email us at [email protected] and we’ll send you the 2019-2020 sponsorship packages that will be announced at UC19Ottawa (October 30 to November 1, 2019).          

Thanks again to the sponsors from last year’s competition at CED-Alma in Québec – we hope to see you all in Southport in May 2020! 

Competition Documents and Contacts

2019-2020 USC-STC Student Competition CONOPS and RULES V2.1 10  OCT 2019.

Registration Fee Payment

Email the Unmanned Systems Canada / Systèmes Télécommandés Canada (USC-STC) Annual National UAS Student Competition Competition Committee at
[email protected]