by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby
Dutch aviation technology pioneer Avy has launched the first Drone Response Network to combine docking stations with autonomous aircraft that possess vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities. The network’s implementation provides ‘drone coverage’ within a certain area, allowing for instant deployment to support medical deliveries or emergency services during critical incidents. It’s fit for purpose and ready for roll out, with first flights taking place in the first quarter of 2022.
Whereas conventional drones need to be piloted manually and possess a shorter range, the new Avy Aera aircraft is autonomous and features improved payload capacity, operability and reliability, with the ability to carry up to 3 kg of medical goods over a distance of 100 km. In addition, the aircraft is ready for year round operation in rain and winds up to 45 kph. Designed to meet EU drone regulations and UN standards for aerial transport of medical goods, the Aera features a suite of sensors and communication links on board, and is prepared for increasingly complex operations.
“We’ve taken all the lessons from being five years in this industry and shaped them into a new solution that will be revolutionary for urgent healthcare logistics and emergency services,” said Avy CEO and founder Patrique Zaman. “We picked the colours for our launching drone to reference our investor Orange Wings, who has been by our side from the beginning.”
The Avy Aera has the potential to greatly improve healthcare logistics, particularly emergency care. For medical deliveries, the model is equipped with Aera’s Medkit, which features a 4L capacity and is fitted with sensors for immediate assessment. The Medikit keeps products cooled between 2-6 degrees for at least 100 minutes in an ambient temperature of up to 40°C. The Avy Drone Response network will be ideal for urban and rural areas alike, providing faster, safer, and more environmentally friendly deliveries for medicines, blood products, vaccines and other medical applications.
“Avy’s new aircraft will make a substantial contribution to achieving the goal of connecting hospitals and laboratories by air by 2023,” said Simon Prent, Drone Operations Manager from ANWB MAA. “The new Medkit allows us to transport medical products at the right temperature and for the first time we’ll be able to fly in urban areas, where the hospitals are located.”
The Avy Aera is also capable of integration with a high zoom RGB and thermal camera system, allowing it to be utilized to quickly detect wildfires, spot people in distress at sea, monitor oil spills and assess the situation on the ground, providing emergency services with a means for safe, fast and effective responses.
Avy’s Drone Response Network allows for rapid deployment of the Aera for urgent logistics and emergency services. The aircraft does not require assembly or battery placement, allowing it to be ready for takeoff whenever it’s needed. This enables centralised command of multiple drones in the network. Several stations can be linked together and act as nodes, letting the drones within the network cover a wider area. By combining multiple stations and aircraft, Avy Aera can be deployed in minutes to cover large areas, providing real-time information to first responders. With strategic placement of two stations and drones, the network is able to cover an area of 1000 km2. The Aera can take off from its station in minutes, reducing response times and costs for first responders.
Companies such as ANWB, PostNL, CHC, Sanquin (the Dutch blood bank), Port of Rotterdam and Falck (leader in emergency and healthcare services from Denmark) are all currently working with Avy to deploy Aera drones due to the many advantages it offers.
“As launch partners we have entered into an innovative collaboration to benefit the healthcare sector,” said Nicolai Laugesen, Falck’s Head of Bid and Commercial Excellence. “Avy and Falck share the same visions for the use of drones in the future, we couldn’t be more excited about the partnership. Our intention with the new aircraft is to transport diagnostic samples and medicine in remote areas in Europe.”
Going forward in 2022, Avy aims to expand its Drone Response Network within Europe and Africa.
Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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