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DB Racing

To introduce young people to STEM and drone technologies through sport and competition

Grottaglie - March 20-21-22, 2024

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The DTA aims to undertake actions to develop and consolidate the skills of the regional aerospace system by supporting, through scientific and technological excellence, the attractiveness of investments and the strengthening of the Apulian research system in a national and international context.

In recent years, the District has promoted and organised Drones Beyond, an event aimed at presenting products and solutions in the drone sector, in order to provide an audience of both experts and potential users with an indication of the state of development of technologies and applications, but also to contribute to the important action of knowledge of the potential and utilities that can be derived from them, both for manufacturers and service providers, encouraging their acceptance and sharing.

Now in its fourth edition, Drones Beyond, in addition to proposing a rich programme of conferences and seminars, offers the opportunity for companies and institutions to present, in static demonstrations and live in real environments (such as Grottaglie Airport and surrounding land, the city of Bari, etc.), the solutions and technologies developed as concrete examples of applications that can currently be realised.

Live demonstrations range from the presentation of new technologies, to the display of solutions that integrate their potential (manned and unmanned aircraft, satellite and ground observation and data acquisition systems, sensors, etc) in different application areas.

The DTA has always paid special attention to young people, starting with the youngest, proposing, with the support and patronage of the Regional School Office, various initiatives to inspire and stimulate the curiosity of children and bring them closer to technologies and innovation.

Taking advantage of the opportunity offered by Drones Beyond, the orientation proposals for schools in recent years have focused on the potential and usefulness of unmanned aircraft on board (drones), acquainting students with the various sectors of human activity (transport, observation of territories and related phenomena, health, agriculture, aerial work, etc.) on which they impact.

DB (drones beyond) Racing is the competition that the DTA organises for secondary schools that allows students to test themselves as novice pilots at the helm of mini drones to enable them, through play and sport, to get closer to the technologies that are presented at Drones Beyond.


Drones, in addition to their numerous fields of application, have become, thanks to advances in technology, the protagonists of a discipline that is to all intents and purposes a sport: FPV drone racing.

Today, following the recognition received in 2016 by the FAI (International Aeronautical Federation), world championships are organised worldwide for professional ‘athletes’ who compete in race circuits driving FPV (First Person View) drones in different ways, such as: the pilots must complete a predetermined route in the shortest possible time by competing one at a time, or they must all face the circuit together by completing a given number of laps and the first to cross the finish line wins, or, again, they compete in performing aerobatic flights within a set time frame. All competition modes test the pilots who have to perform manoeuvres very quickly and control all angles of movement of the drone at the same time. Most ‘professional’ pilots (over 90 per cent) build their drones with new settings and configurations to make them faster and more manoeuvrable.

The FPV drone racing competition that we propose to schools allows them to get in touch with this sport and, at the same time, with the technologies that make it possible, by trying it out.

At Drones Beyond, a competition circuit is set up, consisting of a cage inside which neo-pilots will have to make the drones complete a certain course in the shortest possible time.

The competition takes place in teams, each consisting of four students, from the schools that have applied and been accepted.

To enable the group of four students to prepare for the competition, training/training days are organised with specialised technicians.

On the same day, the teachers accompanying the teams are given a kit to take part in the competition, which includes an FPV mini-drone, complete with software and visor, the rules of the competition and the ‘virtual circuit’ that simulates the real course that will be faced during the competition and that will allow them to train.

Participation in the training days is optional. If the school admitted to the competition decides not to participate, the kit will be sent by post.
All admitted schools are given the name and contact details of a “coach” who can be consulted to prepare for the competition.
During the Drones Beyond event days, competitions are held between a minimum of three teams at a time.
At the end of the races, the team with the best time is awarded a prize.
Schools, in addition to participating with their own team in the DB Racing competition, can visit the exhibition area and follow the conference activities while at the event. If interested, they will also be able to attend ‘live’ (or recorded, in the case of adverse weather conditions) demonstrations of drones carrying out various types of missions, such as environmental monitoring, mounting antennas or transporting packages.

 

Objective: to cover a circuit in the shortest possible time while respecting the rules!

The rules:

1) The circuit is made up of gates and obstacles: they must be crossed and/or overcome according to the sequence and modalities pre-established and communicated to all teams in the pre-race briefing by the organisers;

2) each team, in the allotted time slot, will have at least 2 rounds available for each pilot, for a total of 8 rounds per team. Each turn will last 5 min.

3) The 4 pilots of the three teams competing in the same time slot will start in sequence, in batteries of 3 per turn.

4) At the start, a stopwatch will be activated to record the duration of each lap completed by each pilot in their turn.

5) When the pilot’s time is up, the stopwatch will be stopped and if the pilot has not managed to complete the course even once, he will automatically be assigned the maximum duration and will have to give way to the next pilot in his team.

6) The course may be run with the preferred degree of stabilisation and speed.

7) Only those lap durations will be taken into account for the overall classification which have been executed respecting the course between gates and obstacles in the predetermined sequence.

8) Battery change/recharge and drone positioning/recovery will be carried out exclusively by the staff.

9)The decisions of the competition judges are final and cannot be challenged.

All pilots should know that:

– A collision between drones flying at the same time cannot be penalised or contested. In this case, if the pilots are still able to fly or take off independently, they may continue; otherwise it will be the responsibility of the staff to put the drone back in the competition.

– The stopwatch will not be reset or stopped under any circumstances.

– Pilots must not change the frequencies assigned to the drones by the staff, under penalty of losing the round.

– In the event that the race judge signals a failure to pass an obstacle, the pilot must turn around and face it correctly.

Complete autonomy is left in assigning the flight order of the pilots of each team. Should a team choose to have more than 4 pilots participate, the maximum time available to the team of 40 minutes, i.e. 8 rounds, will remain unchanged.

Each team shall:

– Notify the organisation in good time about damage to the drone taken over so that it can be repaired on the day of the competition.

– Notify any additional batteries available so that the charging station can be prepared.

– Arrive on time, under penalty of possible exclusion or penalty.

– Communicate the list of pilots and flight order before the competition.

– Charge batteries, radio and viewer the evening before the competition under penalty of exclusion or penalty.

Penalties

– Penalties are decided and awarded by the race judge.

– They may consist of repeating an obstacle that was not tackled correctly, cancelling a lap, stopping the driver, ejecting the driver, ejecting the entire team.

Penalties will be awarded in the case of:

– delay;

– unsporting or disrespectful behaviour by participants and accompanying persons;

– voluntary or involuntary change of communication frequency of the drone (disconnected drone and skipped turn);

– obvious fraudulent behaviour (repeatedly jumping over obstacles);

– behaviour that distracts pilots;

– objections.

In the process of organising the Drones Beyond event, the DTA is launching a “call” in cooperation with the Regional School Office, which, through a circular letter, informs all schools in the region and invites them to submit their applications within a set deadline.

If interested, the school must send an ” application form ” with an attached “motivation sheet”, complete with the required fields, to the DTA organisers.

Applications are evaluated according to the time of arrival.

Minutes and seconds are not taken into account and applications received after the above-mentioned deadlines are only considered in the case of remaining availability. In the case of applications received at the same time, an evaluation of the team composition in relation to gender parity and inclusion, the motivation sheet and also on a geographical basis will be carried out at the discretion of the competition judges in charge, in order to allow for the participation of schools from more than one area.

Twelve schools are admitted to each edition.

The admitted schools are contacted by the DTA team, which provides the contact teacher indicated in the application form with detailed information on how to participate, as well as timetables and logistical aspects.

Following this, the school must send confirmation of participation in order to allow other schools that have applied and, due to lack of availability, have been excluded, to be able to participate.

Following confirmation, the school will receive the “Kit” to prepare for and participate in the competition and the dates of the training meetings.

Students on the days of the event will be welcomed by the competition judges and will be offered gadgets and illustrative materials.

Each school may participate in the competition with a single team of four, accompanied by a group of up to 30 students. Interest in having more than one group of students attend the competitions and demonstrations and visit the exhibition may, however, be indicated, and the request will be accepted, and promptly communicated, if the number of participating schools has not saturated the availability.

Two accompanying teachers may be provided for each group of 30 students.

The costs of transport to the competition venue and food will be borne by the school.

Further information can be requested by sending an e-mail to:

carmelo.fortunato@dtascarl.it