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BYU students win first in international micro air vehicle competition

Brigham Young University student engineers recently won first place at the second annual U.S.-European Competition and Workshop on Micro Air Vehicles at Eglin Air Force Base in Sandestin, Fla. The BYU team was one of eight.

The competition required student teams to launch a surveillance mission in which their MAV autonomously flew to three locations and beamed back video. Following that, the tiny, unmanned airplane attempted to hit a target on the ground with a deployable paintball. BYU's ball landed within 5 feet of the target.

Brett Millar and Nathan Knoebel represented BYU in the competition. Fellow students Blake Barber, Neil Johnson and Ian Beaty worked to prepare for the competition, but did not go to Florida. All students are members of the university's MAGICC laboratory.

Tim McLain, an associate professor of mechanical engineering, and Randy Beard, an associate professor of electrical engineering, advised the students.

"Getting undergrads involved in research helps them to be successful," said McLain. "They are able to take the experience they get, go to competitions like these and do really well."

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