The project our team had been challenged with involved suggestions for the use of drones to improve the performance of a more efficient in speed and communications, supply line to active duty soldiers.
In the beginning of the think tank to conduct proper solutions to rise up to this challenge, we focused on the design of a drone based on existing technological concepts. The expectations of the drone’s capabilities included an 8 to 10 mile distance, reaching speed up to 10 miles per hour, and constructing a suitable form of a VTOL(Vertical Take Off and Landing) station for it. Though we concentrated on a land based drone concept for a larger delivery load, we also tried to revolve our solution around being capable of operating in a marine environment.
Last week, we had the appreciated advantage of having an informative interview with Staff Sergeant Long, Jennifer Welsh, Joey Redmon of Gulf Coast Search and Rescue, and LCDR Sharpe with our suggested solutions to the problem in question.
From these interviews we have learned that the provided problem was on a much greater scale than we had anticipated.
From our sponsors, we learned we needed to focus less on logistics and focus on an air drone concept for all terrain and weather. It needs to reach speeds of up to 10-20 km per hour and reach a distance of 200 miles. It also needs to be different from existing drone technology, more specifically it needs to be unique from existing models easily obtained in the common market. A hybrid engine model may be a better choice due to energy efficiency and stealth, though sound is not a necessary focusing point. The load must not swing and must attach and detach quickly. A preference to handling desert environments is recommended and must be able to adjust to high wind velocities.
From Search and Rescue; we were suggested to have the drone be able to receive GPS coordinates from a phone app. Possible human extraction and capabilities to search for missing person(s).
From LCDR Sharpe; we were informed that if the range of the drones was at least 150 miles, it would suffice for satisfactory performances, but the ideal range is 200+ miles.