The University of Southampton

SESA6062 UVSD Group Design Project

Module Overview

The Group Design Project (GDP) forms a major component of the MSc in Unmanned Vehicle Systems Design and has a weighting of 30 credit points. The GDP involves the full engineering design cycle whereby groups of about three to four students must develop a fully working unmanned system.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Gaining experience of working as part of a project team with different experiences and skills. • Tackling a real need/problem with industrial or commercial context.

Learning Outcomes

Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Learning to meet both personal and group objectives.
  • Working and dealing with people inside and outside the university.
  • Handling the administration, organisation and finance of a project.
  • Learning communication and presentation skills.


At the start of the GDP the students will have a series of intensive “hands-on” teaching sessions covering: • Unmanned systems avionics including typical control systems, electric propulsion equipment and autopilot systems. • Unmanned systems types and regulatory aspects. • Parametric geometry and assembly modelling and available manufacturing processes. • Use of spreadsheets for concept design and rudimentary design optimisation.

Special Features

The students will be issued with some sophisticated equipment to enable them to design and build a high performance unmanned vehicle system. The vehicle will be tested using a local flight test airfield (or test facility) and a professional pilot (if required).

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will commence with a series of intensive teaching sessions to ensure that the students are familiar with all the relevant technology, processes and design methods to enable them to undertake a design exercise. Students will be required to work in small teams (3-4) and will be issued with an outline requirement specification for an unmanned system. Each team will be required to undertake two design iterations of their design. The following sequence of milestones is planned: • Weeks 1-2; intensive teaching of background technology and processes/methods. • Weeks 1-2; student teams are given the requirement specification and a project briefing. • Mid Semester 1; formal design review of their concept and design models. • End of Semester 1; build and test iteration 1 of their design and produce a first flight test report. • Mid Semester 2; second formal design review; students present lessons learnt and modifications and improvements to their design. • Easter period of Semester 2 students build and test iteration 2 of their design. • At the end of Semester 2 demonstrate the full system in a live fly test. • At the end of Semester 2 produce a final report on the entire design process. • At the end of Semester 2 present the final results in a formal presentation Viva. Study Time Allocation: • Contact Hours: 100 • Private Study Hours: 200 • Total study time: 300 hours

Completion of assessment task93
Wider reading or practice57
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Materials and Components. The students will be issued with relevant reference teaching materials and some components.



MethodPercentage contribution
Oral presentation 15%
Oral presentation 20%
Practical assessment 25%
Report 25%
Report 15%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal

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