Unfortunately, the challenge is all too familiar.
Medical supplies, aid and economic development continues to bypass millions of people because they live in communities which are remote or difficult to reach. This difficulty in reaching them may be the result of long term issues such as infrastructure unable to cope with geographic features including the sea or deserts, or may the impact of climate change.
In other cases, it could be the result of a sudden event such as a conflict, disease epidemic or acute onset natural disaster. In each case, the impact is real and can cause misery to those affected. Although aid may be sent, the lack of a reliable logistics delivery platform for critical items often results in complex or inadequate supply chains, limiting speed of response and reliability, as well as increasing costs for local governments or international donors.
Enter the Drones.
With their ability to simply fly over obstacles and terrain, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or ‘drones’ have been heralded as a potential solution to address many of these problems. They are able to bypass ground constraints and deliver aid or packages directly where needed, even supplying goods to the final point of use. A ‘leapfrogging’ technology both literally and in terms of potential impact!
However, in addition to social and regulatory issues, adoption has been restricted by limitations of the available technology, and it’s cost/benefit. Limited range, small cargo payload and lack of flexibility of ‘single mission’ UAV’s have all played a part in attenuating the take up of UAV’s to solve many of the challenges facing the development and humanitarian assistance community.
Recent developments in next-generation UAV’s are breaking through these technical and economic barriers. They are able to deliver more cargo, further, at less cost and combine the features of many drones into one aerial platform.
Introducing the UAV Hansard V
The result of many year’s of research and development, the multi-role Hansard V ‘drone’ is designed specifically to meet the challenges of supporting remote and rural areas of the developing world.
But what makes it truly special is that it combines in a single system the functionality often requiring three separate UAV’s - mapping, live video and long-range cargo delivery. This multi role capability, especially when combined with the ability to deliver a heavier cargo, further than previous generations, is potentially a game changer in the way services and support is provided to millions of people.
Our work on Frontier Technology Livestreaming
With the support of the UK’s Department for International Development’s Frontier Technology Livestreaming programme, UK based UAVAid will be testing the long-range capability of the Hansard V drone.
The trials will test the capability of the UAV to deliver a 10kg cargo payload a round-trip distance of 300km, as well as its multi-role live streaming video and mapping functions.
The pilot programme will progressively test the system in the ‘controlled’ context of Spain, followed by a live trial in the “use case” context of Malawi in Africa.
This programme will provide evidence piloting the current state of UAV development, and its readiness to deliver on its potential to improve the speed, reach and range of humanitarian and development actions.
For more information, please contact UAVAid via the website www.UAVAID.com. Follow this Medium page for further updates!