Malawi and UNICEF Announce Humanitarian Drone Testing Corridor

2016-12-20

Malawi and UNICEF Announce Humanitarian Drone Testing Corridor
The Government of Malawi and UNICEF have announced the establishment of an air corridor to test potential humanitarian use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

The corridor is the first in Africa and one of the first globally with a focus on humanitarian and development use. It will run for a maximum distance of 40 km and become fully operational by April 2017. The corridor is designed to provide a controlled platform for the private sector, universities, and other partners to explore how UAS can be used to help deliver services that will benefit communities.

“Malawi has over the past years faced serious droughts and flooding,” Malawi’s Minister of Transport and Public Works, Jappie Mhango said. The launch of the UAS testing corridor is particularly important to support transportation and data collection where land transport infrastructure is either not feasible or difficult during emergencies.

The Humanitarian UAS Testing Corridor will facilitate testing in three main areas:
• Imagery – generating and analyzing aerial images for development and during humanitarian crises, including for situation monitoring in floods and earthquakes
Connectivity exploring the possibility for UAS to extend Wi-Fi or cellphone signals across difficult terrain, particularly in emergency settings
Transport delivery of small low weight supplies such as emergency medical supplies, vaccines and samples for laboratory diagnosis, including for HIV testing.

UAS technology is still in the early stages of development. UNICEF is working globally with a number of governments and private sector partners to explore how UAS can be used in low income countries. All projects adhere to a strict set of innovation principles, with a focus on open source and user-centered design.

The establishment of the testing corridor means there is now a place where we can explore the potential of UAS in the development and humanitarian space, said Cynthia McCaffrey, Director of UNICEFs Office of Innovation. This programme allows UNICEF to adapt to rapid developments in UAS technology and potentially integrate UAS into our work for children.

The launch of the UAS testing corridor follows a pilot project in March 2016 on the feasibility of using UAS for the transportation of dried blood samples for early infant diagnosis of HIV. The feasibility study conducted earlier this year showed that UAS are a viable addition to existing transport systems including those used to help with the diagnosis of HIV.

UNICEF will be finalizing agreements with applicant companies and institutions in the coming months. The Government of Malawi and UNICEF will also identify potential UAS operators that can function in the case of disasters in the region and put in place stand-by agreements to ensure a rapid emergency response.

The Testing Corridor

The air corridor details were determined in consultation with the Malawi Department of Civil Aviation and in line with the governments new regulatory framework.

Specifications include:

-Maximum distance of 40km (to efficiently test transport drones)
-Altitude limit at 500 metres above ground
-The UAS corridor will run for 1-2 years.
-All UAS projects tested in the corridor will have to abide by the UNICEF innovation principles meaning open source, open data, sharable, designed for scale.


Category:  UAV


Drones Listen in on Bats to Reveal their In-Flight Secrets

2017-04-28
Drones Listen in on Bats to Reveal their In-Flight Secrets
Bat-detecting drones could help us find out what the animals get up to when flying. Ultrasonic detectors on drones in the air and on the water are listening in on bat calls, in the hope of discovering more about the mammals’ lives beyond the reach of ground-based monitoring devices.

Virginia Tech Aviation Partnership Test BVLOS Flights

2017-04-27
Virginia Tech Aviation Partnership Test BVLOS Flights
Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, Ligado Networks, AeroVironment, Inc., and Dominion Virginia Power evaluated communications strategies and other parameters to help build a safety case for unmanned aircraft flights beyond the visual line of sight of a pilot or observer.

Lockheed Martin Continues Successful Fury Flight Tests

2017-04-27
Lockheed Martin Continues Successful Fury Flight Tests
Lockheed Martin‘s advanced tactical Group 3 unmanned aerial system (UAS), Fury, is regularly flying long-range endurance test missions as the company prepares it for low-rate production.

Air-to-Ground UAV Teaming  Singapore Style

2017-04-26
Air-to-Ground UAV Teaming Singapore Style
Operating as a team, an autonomous vehicle with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flying overhead as surveillance could go deep into complex and unfamiliar terrains such as dense forests to deliver supplies to the battlefield.

Second Generation Hydrogen Fuel Cell Drone

2017-04-25
Second Generation Hydrogen Fuel Cell Drone
This year at FAMEX, Chinese manufacturer MMC introduces its new technology of hydrogen UAS HyDrone 1800 with upgraded specifications to meet higher standards in professional applications. The Feria Aeroespacial México 2017 (FAMEX 2017) kicks off at Mexico City on 26 April.

US Army Releases Counter-Drone Manual

2017-04-24
US Army Releases Counter-Drone Manual
Having developed and utilized unmanned aerial systems (UAS, or drones) for surveillance, targeting and attack, the US military now finds itself in the position of having to defend against the same technology.

US Army Purchases Dronebuster C-UAS System

2017-04-20
US Army Purchases Dronebuster C-UAS System
Radio Hill has just finalized a contract initiated by the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF) to purchase a large lot of block 3 Dronebusters. This hand-held drone detection and jamming systems for use in the battle against ISIL.

Controlling Drones via LTE Network

2017-04-19
Controlling Drones via LTE Network
KDDI and Terra Drone have announced the completion of inventing “4G LTE control system”, the system allows operators to control drones via LTE network. This system also helps drone businesses by managing the information on each drone and operator and providing detailed flight logs of each flight.

Hydrogen Drone, HyDrone 1550, Successfully Tested at High Altitudes

2017-04-18
Hydrogen Drone, HyDrone 1550, Successfully Tested at High Altitudes
Search and rescue is a valued application for drones, but mountain rescues at high altitude have been difficult due to the technology barriers created by the use of lithium batteries. Commercial drone manufacturer MMC addresses that issue with the hydrogen-powered HyDrone 1550.

New Software Simplifies Oil and Gas Inspections

2017-04-17
New Software Simplifies Oil and Gas Inspections
Industrial Skyworks has announced the official launch of Blue VU advanced software for the accurate and efficient inspection of buildings, and oil and gas infrastructure. Industrial Skyworks’ new Blue VU software will relieve inspectors, engineers and technicians from sifting through thousands of images while providing safe visual access to hard to reach locations, such as the roofs of buildings, flare stacks, and storage tanks.


Back to the list