Korean drone company Doosan Mobility Innovation has been a new presence at drone shows and conferences this year. Now, the unique DS30 octocopter has demonstrated what it can do with a stunning 43 mile medical drone delivery.
The project was a collaboration between drone consulting group Guinn Partners, Skyfire Consulting, the US Department of Health and Doosan Mobility Innovation.
“This last week, members of our team at Guinn Partners worked with Doosan Mobility Innovations, in collaboration with Skyfire Consulting, and the US Department of Health, to execute a 43 mile open ocean medical drone delivery between St. Croix and St. Thomas. The flight took an hour and forty three minutes on Doosan’s hydrogen-fuel cell powered DS-30 aircraft (which still had nearly 30 minutes of hydrogen left in the tank upon landing),” says a Guinn Partners release.
“The drone carried simulation vials as a surrogate for diagnostic samples or vaccines in a temperature controlled payload system.”
This type of demonstration has significant value for the industry. While an open ocean mission poses few risks to bystanders and is there for easier to implement as a test scenario, it demonstrates multiple technologies. As well as showcasing the flight endurance of the DS30 – and the value of hydrogen fuel cell technology for drones – the mission showcased a safe and controlled flight beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). The DS-30 was equipped with a temperature controlled payload system, that was effective in transporting fragile medical supplies. The mission time demonstrates the value of drone delivery for mission-critical applications. The communications and logistics of a long range flight are tested.
As the U.S. Department of Health explores new humanitarian applications for drones, many new technologies get a trial – and that moves all aspects of the industry forward.
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 a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
Subscribe to DroneLife here.