A few weeks ago General Atomics Aeronautical Systems announced that it’s Predator® RPA system is capable of delivering 8,500 pounds of Humanitarian Daily Ration packets (HDRs) for 3,400 people each day. The task is performed thanks to internal bay of this unmanned aircraft and can be split into two separate drops in one mission. As the press release states, the machine can fly 3 missions per day which can last for three hours each.
GA-ASI news ends there but lets move on. What can our military drones do and for what could we use them in critical situations? Lets imagine a scenario that there is some sort of disaster or epidemic in a difficult to reach area, lets say some sort of mountains with small villages spread here and there. The disease is severe but it can be easily beaten with injections or pills of a gwell known but rare medicine which is started to be produced in big quantities. As it is not some sort of rocket science medicine the production goes well and we have huge stocks of it and want to push it around the world to stop the spread of the disease which happens to be lethal and contagious. Drones solve a lot of problems for us. There is no physical contact so there is no danger of spreading it further. They can fly many missions a day and do it day and night. We have managed to equip it with software that can allow planned routs and guidance systems allowing to be precise in their flight paths up to a few meters. In our scenario a UAV deploys from a military base, flies on a pre planned rout and has lets say 5-10 villages to cover in mountains. Above each village it drops the medicine and then moves to the next one and the next one… Returns to base, the personnel refuels it, puts new medicine and it flies again. The same goes for scenarios in which we don’t want to cure people but send them a vaccine so they wont even be ill. Imagine containers of bomb size which can be dropped with the same precision within meters of he target, imagine an operator who tracks the drop and changes the rout so it will fall let’s say 100 meters to the left as it will be safer for the people from that village. Our pilots, drones and bombs can do all of those things right now and lets hope that if the time comes that those machines will carry precise relief missions. Think about it – today’s delivery companies plan to use drones for fast package deliveries so… the sky is the limit.