Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Blood Delivery: A UAV Fleet Design Tool and Case Study
RAND ARROYO CENTER SANTA MONICA CA SANTA MONICA
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Autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles UAVs are quickly proliferating in both commercial and military markets. In the coming decade, the number of potential applications is also expected to expand. These applications include environmental monitoring, autonomous delivery, data collection, and photography and video. The advantages of these systems are certainly attractive - they minimize risk to operators, provide on-demand capability, and allow increased flexibility for reaching denied areas. In particular, the Joint medical community is interested in how autonomous UAVs can provide improved medical care capability, including medical resupply and unmanned casualty evacuation. Despite their interest, the Joint medical community currently lacks a framework to assess the potential utility of autonomous UAVs for their missions. As such, this analysis aims to provide this analytic framework. We specifically focus on autonomous UAVs for blood delivery, a subset of the medical resupply mission space, for both logistical resupply of medical treatment facilities MTFs and emergency delivery to traumatically injured forward operators. Blood makes for an interesting UAV delivery case study because it has unique constraints regarding how it must be transported and stored and also has a finite shelf life. In short, blood could potentially benefit from a pairing with a delivery platform that allows for greater flexibility in its supply chain.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Pilotless Aircraft