Pushing forward the boundaries of drone deliveries for emergency response

Sudipa Sarker, Gyöngyi Kovacs, Grzegorz Trzeciak

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientific


Slowly but surely, drones are gaining popularity not only for taking video footage for recreational and travel videos but also for farming, surveillance, and product deliveries. During COVID-19, attention to drones, both by researchers and practitioners, skyrocketed because of the requirements to quarantine and contactless deliveries. Drones have also been successfully used for emergency medical deliveries such as vaccines and blood bags. However, a critical problem of using drones in humanitarian operations is how to organise people (e.g., delivery and receiving personnel), processes (e.g., loading and unloading of goods), and systems (e.g., ground control station, communication systems) to make the delivery from the point, A which is a warehouse or humanitarian aid operation base to point B which is the disaster-stricken location. To guide future researchers, practitioners, and policymakers, in this paper, we present the results of 120 flight hours of drone delivery in a simulated environment of the humanitarian operation. The data to build the simulation model is collected from real emergency operation situations of humanitarian aid organisations. The drones are tested for 150 kg of payload and 700 km distance. Our findings suggest that three things are fundamental for enabling drone deliveries for humanitarian aid operations. First, the flows from the non-disaster-stricken region to the disaster-stricken region need to be understood. Second, standard operating procedures (SOPs) for forwarding operation bases, emergency goods handling personnel, and loading and unloading operations must be developed. Third, conventions regarding drones flying between borders must be agreed upon and signed. In this paper, we present the flows, SOPs, and conventions required for emergency aid deliveries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPushing forward the boundaries of drone deliveries for emergency response
Publication date07.10.2022
Publication statusPublished - 07.10.2022
MoE publication typeB3 Article in conference proceedings
Event2022 EuroHope Mini Conference - Istanbul , Turkey
Duration: 06.10.202207.10.2022


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