Launching the next phase of the UK’s first drone network development project to deliver medical products.

Drone Delivery Network CAELUS

A team of Strathclyde researchers to deliver the UK’s first medical delivery network has entered the next phase.

Last month, the CAELUS (Care & Equity – Healthcare Logistics UAS Scotland) project received £10.1 million in funding from the Research and Innovation Foundation Flight Challenge (UKRI).

To celebrate, consortium members, stakeholders and politicians gathered at Glasgow Airport to learn more about the project’s progress and timeline to date.

Scottish Government Minister of Health Marie Todd delivered a keynote speech at the event, which included several partner exhibitions.

Managed by AGS Airports in partnership with NHS Scotland, CAELUS has 16 partners including the University of Strathclyde, NATS and NHS Scotland.

They are working together to build the first national drone network to deliver essential medicines, blood and other medical supplies across Scotland, including in remote communities.

Since raising £1.5 million in January 2020, the consortium has designed a drone landing station for NHS facilities in Scotland and developed a virtual model (twin digital) of the proposed supply chain to connect hospitals, pathology laboratories, distribution centers and clinics around the world. Scotland.

Test flight

NHS Scotland has announced that it will take a ‘post-Scottish’ approach to the project, with a second phase involving test flights in the field and addressing remaining barriers to entry. safe use of large drones in Scottish airspace.

Chief investigator Dr. Marco Fossati from the University of Strathclyde’s Center for Aerospace Excellence said:

“The second grant will take CAELUS to an exciting next stage where we will be testing the flight tests of the aircraft. unmanned systems and critical systems This will be a revolutionary achievement for UK Airways and NHS Scotland ensuring the safety of operations.

Professor Massimiliano Vasile, from the School of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering and Director of the Center for Aerospace Development, said:

“This innovative project builds on years of research at the Center for Aeronautics and Astronautics. headquarters to create the UK’s first drone delivery network for the Scottish Health Service.

Critical supplies

Fiona Smith, Head of Airport Strategy and CAELUS Project Manager at AGS Airports Group, said:

“Project CAELUS will transform the healthcare industry in Scotland.

“Drone networks can more efficiently deliver needed medical supplies, reduce research time, and most importantly, provide equal access across member communities.”

remote urban and rural areas.

“In addition to the ability to fly in the field, we can start delivering the physical infrastructure needed to support the drones in Scotland. This includes building a prototype base for landings. wing, as well as digital and communications infrastructure. We will also work with local communities to understand why and how they use drones. “Understand the need.

Members of the CAELUS Skyports association will conduct field trials.

Hazel Dempsey, innovation program manager at NHS Grampian, said: “Ultimately, we wanted to explore how drone technology could speed diagnosis and treatment of medical problems.

“This can improve service for those dependent on rail, ferry or flight schedules and help people stay home with support from family and loved ones.”