Current Competition

This year, we will be running a virtual ARC competition that will start in mid-January 2021. There will only be a national competition and no region split. Please find the details here 2021 competition .

About the Competition

Started in 2015, ARC seeks to ignite the passion of STEM Aerospace at the high school level in schools across the US.

The competition is built upon three pillars:

By definition, autonomy is acting independently, and ARC allows high school students to create UAVs that do just that. Students will program a UAV to act independently of any human pilot. Aspects of the mission will change each year to encompass new challenges, yet still follow the three pillars of the competition. The UAV for this competition will be a quadcopter, which uses four electric motors with propellers to generate lift. The three pillars of the competition are applied via the following competition portions, each with a corresponding scoring criterion:

Moving forward, ARC will continue to be composed of three primary competition portions:

  1. Autonomous Flight

    The emphasis of the competition will be placed on the Autonomous flight round. This emphasis will be accomplished via different score weights applied to the three different competition portions. The Autonomous round requires extensive programming by the students. This poses a great challenge for the teams but the applied programming principles are directly correlated to skills highly sought after within the aerospace industry.

  2. Semi-Autonomous Flight

    The Semi-Autonomous flight round will be head-to-head student piloted flight. This provides excitement for students competing and spectators as it is in the moment competition and individual controlled, instead of being completely priorly programmed like Autonomous. Semi-Autonomous does require a degree of programming to maintain successful flight, but the programming required is not to the extent of the Autonomous portion.

  3. Technical Communication

    Teams will gain experience in industry standard technical communication by presenting their vehicle, team, analysis, and competition plan to a panel of judges. Teams will be judged both on presentation content and presentation style. Creativity is encouraged in their design of the UAV and plan for completing the flight missions; this is where teams can showcase their creativity and their work.

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