General 2020 African Drone Forum Challenge Questions

The best way to find out more information about the 2020 African Drone Forum is to browse our website and to read through these frequently asked questions. You can also contact us for specific requests.

ADF will launch a business plan competition that focuses exclusively on African entrepreneurs who have identified new and innovative use cases for commercial drone applications. Finalists will be invited to pitch their business concepts live at the forum. To receive updates on this competition, please sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Twitter @ADF_rising.

Please join the 2020 African Drone Forum newsletter to stay connected to our news and updates.

The objectives of the ADF are to convene and promote the best drone ideas, practices and technologies for the continent, as well as to catalyze, demonstrate, validate and reward aerial delivery services that will transform distribution services in Africa. The challenge will also connect local and global entrepreneurs with regional decision-makers and strategic investors.

The 2020 African Drone Forum (ADF) asks what could happen if Africa was no longer bound by surface infrastructure. It explores new territory, made possible through advances in autonomous aerial technologies, and can significantly improve transport and mobility in rural and remote areas. Made up of a gathering of global investors, thought leaders and experts at the forefront of drone technologies, local African government, regulators, media and businesses, the ADF aims to build a global community and support industry while working through the regulatory and safety implications of this technology. Cultural effects on communities are also explored.

The flying competitions of the African Drone Forum – Lake Kivu Challenge will be held in Karongi on the shores of Lake Kivu, Rwanda in February 2020. The African Drone Forum Symposium and Expo will be held in Kigali, Rwanda from February 5 to 7. Competition flights are scheduled to start February 8, 2020.

Tanzania set the pace in 2018 with Africa’s first-ever historic gathering of drone advocates, and we thank them for their commitment for year zero. Now they pass the proverbial baton to our next host country. Rwanda is a fitting venue for the next iteration of the event as the Rwandan Government was the first in Africa and one of the first in the world to promulgate comprehensive performance-based UAS regulations allowing Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) commercial operations. Hosting ADF2020 in Rwanda is expected to strengthen the insights and knowledge exchange at the symposium sessions on regulatory transformation, while the geography of the lake region will challenge the competing flying teams to excel within a real-world use-case environment.

General Lake Kivu Challenge (LKC) Questions

This may be considered, however contestants must provide appropriate safety work and stay within limitations (i.e <400 ft).

Yes, however, each of three LKC Flying Competitions has different requirements, which each need to be met.

Use cases for the three LKC Flying Competitions can be found here.

Yes, a terrain model for the landing and takeoff locations will be provided to the competition teams.

GPS Coordinates and a profile of the landing sites will be provided to contestants that make it to the Phase 2 qualifying round.

Full registration opened on March 1, 2019 and closes midnight (GMT) on October 4, 2019. Potential competitors can pre-register by submitting an expression of interest. The expression of interest is non-binding and lets the LKC team know that you are interested.

There will be three (3) flying competitions as part of the Lake Kivu Challenge. These include Emergency Delivery, Sample Pick-Up and Find and Assess.

There is a planned maximum number of 12 teams who will compete in the LKC Flying Competitions.

A schedule with assigned time slots will be given to competition teams, however, plans may change if needed according to air traffic and weather.

Please contact the LKC team here if you would like to speak with someone about the LKC Flying Competitions.

For detailed requirements, please read the Common Requirements and Performance Capabilities.

There are three qualifying phases of the 2019 LKC Flying Competitions:

Phase 1 involves completing a registration form, including a video of the drone in flight. Phase 1 closes at midnight GMT on October 4, 2019. Applications that meet the minimum requirements for each of the Flying Competitions will be invited to Phase 2.

Phase 2 of the qualifying process involves participants providing detailed information about their proposed business case for the competition they have entered, including safety information. Phase 2 participants will be provided with detailed information on the sites and load specifications. The Phase 2 submission deadline is November 20, 2019. An expert panel will review each submission and select up to 12 participants to enter Phase 3. The Phase 3 qualifiers will be announced on December 10, 2019.

Phase 3 comprises of a live demonstration of the drone system in Karongi, Rwanda with competition flights scheduled to commence on February 8, 2020.

Competition teams will be flying in Class D controlled airspace, segregated from conventionally piloted aircraft with tracking via a UTM system.

Teams that have successfully qualified to Phase 2 of the LKC Flying Competitions will be notified and provided detailed information by October 30, 2019.

The judges will consist of a panel of experts in supply chain, aviation, safety and management, and members of the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority.

The Lake Kivu Challenge has been created to advance the work of creating a sustainable drone ecosystem in Africa. Given this, each of the LKC Flying Competitions addresses both a challenge and an opportunity to augment mobility from rail, road and sea; to connect excluded communities, enhance the resilience of supply chains, and create new markets and services that connect urban and rural opportunities.

Yes, we will provide basic infrastructure. Teams will be asked to submit special requests for consideration as part of the building process.

3rd party liability insurance covering at least 1 m USD needs to be provided by contestants. More detailed requirements can be found in the competition section of the website.

There may potentially be multiple aircrafts on the range at once, however this has not been finalized yet. Please stay tuned.

Yes, there will be space to rehearse basic flight tests and limited time to rehearse the flight tracks. We strongly recommend teams allow time for practice and rehearsal. The landing and take off sites will not be the same as during the trial.

Flights may continue through slight rain.

The names of teams that succesfully qualify to Phase 3 will be published on our website.

Given the overarching objectives of the LKC, the number of flying competitions may vary from year to year.

Technical Lake Kivu Challenge (LKC) Questions

The LKC management team is not aware of any major sources of interference. Please contact us during Phase 2 around any specific concerns.

The LKC Flying Competitions require redundancy. ADS-B (1090) is the preferred option, plus connecting the GCS to the UTM infrastructure for tracking. FLARM or Mode S SSR may be able to be tracked through the UTM system and the LKC team will provide updates when available.

We are in the process of clarifying permissible frequencies. Contestants should keep in mind RLOS when choosing their C2 telemetry.

We are in the process of clarifying permissible frequencies; in general international standards are applicable.

GSM coverage is reasonable at the flying locations however we do not recommend reliance on it as primary C2 telemetry solution.

Yes, electric VTOL is required for the LKC Flying Competitions. For the Find and Assess competition, alternative launching and landing mechanisms and steep belly landings may be accepted. More detailed requirements can be found in the competition section of the website.

Please contact the LKC team with a proposal for additional infrastructure during Phase 2 of qualifying.

Link loss will incur significant minus points during the judging process. In the case where all links are lost, the craft should continue its mission based on autopilot settings.

We are in the process of clarifying maximum power.

We are in the process of clarifying permissible bandwidths.

Contestants need to be prepared for landings outside of RLOS and may install additional equipment.

We cannot comment on this to ensure the LKC Flying Competitions remain fair and competitive. All drones that take part in each competition need to be capable of fulfill the required use case. Scoring criteria will be released well ahead of the competition.

Not unless a favourable business (use) case and safety case to support this option were submitted to the LKC team for consideration. For example, a proposal for utilising a relay drone as a VLOS operation at the droneport on the Rwandan mainland, restricted to below 400 ft AGL with an appropriate safety assessment of ground risk in the operations area

Expo Related Questions

We are expecting around 300 companies and organizations from around the world to be present at the Expo.

Logistics Related Questions

Travel, accommodation, meals, facility shipment, etc. will be provided.

There is no registration fee to participate in the LKC Flying Competitions.

Media Related Questions

For media inquiries please contact us directly. General media assets, including media releases, images and videos will also be made available on our website in the near future.

Opportunities exist to be a part of this globally significant event. Contact us to find out how you can be involved as a donor, sponsor, event partner and/or competition participant.

Onsite Information

Information regarding the venue and facilities will be provided to all registered participants ahead of the events

Yes, WiFi will be available throughout the venue.

Translation services are currently not foreseen, however, requests for translation services can be evaluated on a case-by-case basis so please contact us with any requests.

Sponsorship Related Questions

Opportunities exist to be a part of global change with this historic event. Different structures have been developed to accommodate donors, sponsors, event partners and competition participants. Please contact us directly to find out how you can best support the ADF.)