Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Predator's Drone Descendant Could Bring Food to War Zones - Not Bombs

Technology Might Offer Manna from Heaven for Those in Critical Need
Shipping News Feature
US – Our recent story on the deployment of Zipline drones to carry critical medical supplies to remote locations in Rwanda has shown that the use of drones and UAV’s as a delivery mechanism is gradually moving from science fiction and testing to reality. Now one of the biggest builders of UAV’s has announced that they are designing a delivery vehicle of far greater capacity with an evolution of the (in)famous Predator drone that could soon be delivering food and medicine, not ordnance, to warzones. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA ASI), manufacturer of the formidable Predator and Reaper UAV’s, is developing the Angel One UAV which will be able to deliver vital humanitarian aid to areas suffering from natural disasters or war.

Based on the highly successful Predator, the aptly named Angel One will be able to deliver almost four tonnes of Humanitarian Daily Ration packets (HDRs), enough to feed 3,400 people a day. Each UAV will be capable of undertaking 3 x three hour missions per day and, by using a specially designed release mechanism, will be able to distribute HDRs over a wider area, allowing those in need to gather the supplies. GA-ASI states that this method will ensure greater delivery success over more traditional ‘pallet’ aid drops.

GA-ASI believe that the Angel One could be invaluable in getting urgently needed food and medical supplies to reach those otherwise inaccessible places. With political issues blocking conventional aid deliveries, such as the current situation in the Syrian city of Aleppo, it seems likely that GA-ASI might have come up with a solution to an extremely thorny issue by removing the risk of human casualties in delivering to hazardous areas and allowing for extremely rapid and long range deployment of aid at short notice.

Photo: How the Angel 1 might spread ration packs to those in need.