Drone Delivery in Disaster Area Sample Proposal
New Drone Surveillance and Delivery Services for Disaster Aid
Thank you for your organization’s continuing service to disaster victims around the world. Because you have used The Technical Aid Team’s services in crisis situations in the past, we wanted you to know that our services are still available to help re-establish communications and vital computer operations in disaster areas. However, the main reason I am reaching out to you today is to introduce you to an exciting new option we are offering to disaster relief organizations.
Drone delivery and surveillance services. Yes, our technical experts wire and code and assemble technology on the ground, and now we’re using technology in the air, too. As you know, the extent of a disaster can be hard to gauge in the beginning, and often it’s difficult to find victims who need assistance. Drone surveillance can help with that.
It’s much cheaper and safer to fly a camera-mounted drone over an area than it is to send a helicopter or a plane. When disasters cause roads to be impassable, it can be nearly impossible to get needed supplies to victims in a timely fashion. Drones can assist in this effort, too. We hope you find all the information enclosed here to be useful and even inspirational.
When you need drones to do the job in a crisis situation, please call on The Technical Aid Team. While we never look forward to disasters, we look forward to working with your organization in the future. This proposal describes the new drone services available from The Technical Aid Team, which specializes in emergency technical services for disaster situations.
Why consider drones in a disaster situation. Consider the following information. Drones are a cost-effective way to speed up assistance to victims.
- Analyze the extent of the disaster
- Locate victims and continuing danger in the disaster area
- Render aid as soon as possible
- Create a plan to stabilize the situation and help inhabitants recover
- Re-establish critical communications and power networks
- Deliver food, water, medical aid and shelter as needed for victims
No one method can handle all the problems in a major disaster. But adding drones to the mix of aid services can help in the following ways. Use cameras mounted on drones to film and record the extent of the disaster for immediate and future aid planning.
Filming can also assist in locating victims. If needed, use drones to deliver satellite phones to victims to establish communication with aid workers. Use drones to deliver critical supplies to victims.
Drones are a cost-effective way to speed up assistance to victims in almost any disaster situation. When disaster strikes, time is of the essence. It’s necessary to scope out the situation and get food, water, and medical supplies to victims as quickly as possible. But often conditions make that task nearly impossible with conventional equipment.
Roads may be rendered impassable by natural disasters and landing areas may not be accessible by standard aircraft. Areas affected by violence may be too dangerous to risk the lives of your key personnel. Heavy-duty drones can lift loads up to 20 kilograms and can be piloted from a safe area. A drone can carry lifesaving supplies for victims, and drones with cameras can aid in search missions to find missing personnel.
Drones can be a valuable addition to any disaster relief effort. The Technical Aid Team has configured the following common relief packages for delivery by our drones. Note that substitutions can be made when weight restrictions allow, and specialized packages may be configured as needed. 40 one-liter plastic bottles of water + powdered supplement packages.
An average of 3liters of water per day per person is recommended. Medical supply kit – Contains a variety of antibiotics, dressings, bandages, pain relievers. Combining this with the surgical kit listed below is often needed for complete medical readiness.
Food rations – Contains instant rice and oatmeal, freeze-dried meat and vegetables, vitamin supplements for 10 people for one day. This package comes in varieties that correspond to religious dietary restrictions. 20 Meals Ready to Eat military issue MREs with flameless heaters included in packages. Each meal contains a main dish and side dishes, and each package contains a flameless device to heat the meal.
A variety of menu options is available. 10 heavy synthetic blankets and 20 metallic emergency blankets. Heavy duty blankets are made from synthetic materials to retain warmth in damp conditions as well as washability.
10 satellite cell phones, battery pack chargers, and instructions. When cell towers are down, delivering satellite phones to victims is the fastest way to establish communication. 10 hand-crank radios and 10 hand-crank lights. When no electricity is available, this package can re-establish daily communications and ensure safety after dark.
Surgical kit – scalpels, sterile dressings, suture kit, antibiotics, anesthetics, syringes, sterile gloves and masks, IV equipment. This kit may be used for up to five basic surgery procedures. 3 large tents, each suitable for four people. Combine this package with other listed items to create temporary living quarters for victims.
10 cell phone charge battery packs. In areas where victims are likely to have cell phones but no access to electricity, this package can re-establish communications. Nearly any combination of supplies can be packaged for delivery by our expert staff, as long as total weight of each load does not exceed 20 kilos.
For maximum success, each load should be packaged by our staff. We know how to best protect our payloads and our drones so that packages are delivered with all items intact and usable. See the Payload page for guidance on the size of items that can be packed in our specially configured delivery boxes.
Our drones can deliver services worldwide. Drone drop zones or surveillance destinations must be within a maximum range of up to 20 miles from the drone pilot’s location, and distance may be limited by weather conditions or interference with GPS satellite signals. To activate a drone response team, please call The Technical Aid Team office shown below that is closest to your emergency site.
United States and Canada
Philadelphia, PA office covering the northeast portion of the US and the eastern portion of Canada 555-555-5000. Atlanta, GA office covering southeastern continental US, see Puerto Rico below for U.S. territories in the Caribbean area 555-555-3000. Seattle, WA office covering western U.S., western Canada, and Pacific area 555-555-2000.
Puerto Rico office covering Caribbean countries and U.S. territories 555-555-4000. Mexico City office covering Mexico, Central America, and South America 555-555-6000. London, UK office covering Europe 555-555-7000.
Hong Kong office covering Asia 555-555-9000. Nairobi, Kenya office covering Africa 555-555-5500. In many situations, The Technical Aid Team can have an emergency team on-site within thirty hours of notification, assuming that transportation for personnel and equipment is available in a timely manner. Assembly of drones on-site takes only minutes, and deliveries can often begin within an hour.
We can deliver a variety of prepackaged emergency supplies within hours of personnel arrival. Specialized shipments will take longer to assemble and prepare for drone delivery. For most efficient results, call the The Technical Aid Team office closest to the emergency area.
Note the following conditions that may affect response time and drone flying abilities. Major Earthquakes If airports are usable in the affected area, response time can be quick. Earthquakes do not generally affect drone flying abilities.
Tornados, Typhoons, Hurricanes Most aircraft, including drones, cannot fly when storm conditions persist aloft, and our drones must be able to receive satellite signals, so skies cannot be obscured by thick cloud cover. As soon as winds, lightning, and heavy rains pass, our drones can take off on their missions. Emergency Medical Situations When a critical medical problem arises in a remote area, drones are a perfect solution to get equipment and medical supplies to the area as soon as possible. Drones are particularly effective in situations where victims must be isolated from the general population, such as in an outbreak of contagious disease.
Battle Zones Conflict areas and war zones are often too dangerous to send rescue personnel into, but drones can provide surveillance and deliver supplies to trapped victims. Note that there is a greater possibility that drones may be shot down or disabled in some way, but even in the event of capture by hostile forces, enemies do not have the ability to fly the drone without the control panel. In most conditions, a drone response can be activated much more quickly than sending in your valuable personnel.
Utilizing drones for deliveries and surveillance will realize the following benefits for your organization. Drones can deliver supplies and help to analyze the situation while keeping your aid personnel safe. Deliver emergency supplies when roads are impassable Often the biggest problem in an emergency is that the traditional transportation methods are blocked or destroyed. Drones can deliver supplies when trucks cannot.
Inspect disaster areas quickly with onboard cameras It can take days for human crews to be dispatched into a disaster area to examine it from a helicopter or other vehicle. Heavy aircraft and ground vehicles may not be available. Drones can usually survey a disaster area and provide a visual record of the emergency situations more quickly than a helicopter crew can be dispatched. Films from drones can be easily downloaded to computers for thorough analysis.
Protect valuable aid personnel Some situations are just too dangerous to risk the lives and wellbeing of aid workers. Drones can deliver supplies and help to analyze the situation while keeping your aid personnel safe. Re-establish communications In a disaster situation, often victims are totally cut off from communications with organizations that could help. Drones can deliver cell phones and battery packs, as well as hand-crank radios, to re-establish a communication network in a disaster area.
Economy It’s expensive to send personnel and equipment into disaster areas. Drones can often do the job more quickly and economically than human crews can. Drones will never be able to handle jobs such as debris removal, searching through ruins, or doing surgery on a victim, but adding drones to the array of disaster relief tasks can make operations more efficient and save lives. Each drone relies on a remote control panel guided by a pilot, who may be miles away from the flying drone.
When a camera is on board the drone, the pilot can see conditions which the drone is encountering. In most disaster situations, a camera will be attached to the drone. However, in those rare occasions where a camera is not on board, the pilot must rely solely on GPS coordinates. The following are conditions that may affect control of drones.
Interference with satellite GPS signals Our drones rely on global positioning system signals coming from overhead satellites. If cloud cover is too thick, these signals may be blocked. Weather Like many other types of aircraft, drones can be affected by strong winds, extreme cold, lightning strikes, hail, and other weather problems.
In the event of a drone crash, the pilot will receive a signal for later cleanup and retrieval. Hostile fire A drone may be brought down by gunfire in conflict zones. In the event of a drone crash, the pilot will receive a signal.
Note that nobody can operate the drone without the control panel. Inability to deliver packages Two conditions may prevent a drone from delivering packages. One - no safe landing zone for the package, or Two - malfunction of the grasp and release system.
Unsatisfactory locations for pilots Each drone requires a human pilot at the controls. If conditions are unsafe for pilots or if pilots cannot be stationed close enough to fly the drone within the range needed, drones cannot be used. In most conditions, drones are reliable workhorses that can get certain crucial jobs done more quickly and efficiently than humans can.
The Technical Aid Team purchases heavy-duty drones from SkyDragon, and lighter drones from a variety of suppliers. Then we reconfigure them to meet requirements for disaster areas.
All delivery drones are heavy-duty drones so they can carry loads of up to 20 kilos. Some of our standard supply packs are described on the Supplies page. Delivery drones can be rigged to deliver packages in two ways.
Package drop via a pulley system while hovering – A retractable cable is attached to a delivery box, which is lowered beneath the drone. The delivery box is released when it touches ground or when a person on the ground presses a button, and then the cable is automatically retracted and stored beneath the drone. This configuration should be used when there is not sufficient clearance to land a drone. Care must be taken so that the cable does not become entangled and so that people on the ground are not injured by dangling cables and delivery boxes.
Package release from landed drone – The drone is configured with a claw mechanism that releases the delivery box on touchdown. When a clear landing area is available, this is the safest way to deliver packages.
Our surveillance drones can be fitted with a variety of cameras, including infrared cameras, to aid in area analysis and location of victims. Depending on the range of flight, the camera to be used, and the estimated time for the flight, we may use a lightweight battery-powered drone or a heavier, longer-range gas-powered drone.
Control panels and laptops
Each drone requires a pilot to monitor position and distance and to maneuver the drone as required for it to complete its mission. For some drones, we use dedicated control panels. For others, we use control applications on laptop computers. Video footage from surveillance drones can be viewed in real time and also recorded for future study.
Our drone teams always arrive with sufficient spare parts and even spare drones to effect repairs on site. We know that time is of the essence. As previously mentioned in this proposal, our heavy duty drones can carry up to 20 kilograms of supplies and equipment.
Payloads must be properly configured for aerodynamics, so it is possible that some items will require disassembly before packaging into a drone payload, and some items are simply not suitable for drone delivery. Dimensions are determined by the ability of items to fit into the delivery box that will be attached beneath the drone. Maximum weight for release-on-touchdown delivery box. Total items in a release-on-touchdown delivery box cannot weigh more than 42 pounds.
The box weighs approximately 2 pounds. Maximum weight for suspended-cable-release delivery box. Total items in a release-on-touchdown delivery box cannot weigh more than 40 pounds. The box and cable-pulley system together weigh approximately 4 pounds.
Due to the slight risks of dropping or crash-landing, explosive items must not be transported, breakable items should be packaged in protective containers, and items that could create a toxic or explosive situation if mixed should not be transported in the same container.
When considering packages for drone delivery, the packager should always consider whether the recipient is likely to have everything needed for use of the items. For example, if cans are included, a can opener should be, too. If rolls of bandaging or cordage or tape are included, the package should also contain scissors or a knife.
Instructions should often be included. The information presented above is current at the time of this writing. Please keep in mind that new drone technology is arriving every day, and The Technical Aid Team will improve our drone fleet and capabilities as the industry evolves.
Although it’s impossible to accurately predict in advance what any disaster situation may require, the following table will show you all the expenses you need to consider. Situations may be extremely variable, as some aid organizations may be set up to provide meals and accommodations and even transportation for our pilots, and in other situations The Technical Aid Team will have to purchase all those. Some crises may require only a few days of our time and services; others may require weeks.
We will be happy to provide your organization with a more exact bid when you call to contract for our services. By using drones, your organization can save costs in the following ways. Inexpensive preliminary analysis of disaster scenes It can cost thousands of dollars to fly helicopters or planes over disaster areas to determine the scope of damage and the help needed.
Drones can help with preliminary analysis at much more reasonable costs. Rapid deployment and immediate service Often a needed plane or helicopter must be transported or flown to the disaster area, which results in further expense and a longer wait to help victims. Drones can arrive in the area on any airplane, ship, or ground vehicle, and be flying within hours. Establishing emergency communications Cell phone towers and telephone land lines are often destroyed in natural disasters.
A drone can deliver a pack of satellite cell phones and battery-pack chargers that can immediately establish communication between victims and aid organizations. This can save days of work trying to re-establish damaged networks, and time is money. When possible, satellite phones will be recovered and reused. Eliminating risk of injury to workers Many disaster scenes are perilous to aid workers, especially those that are in conflict zones.
While it’s possible for a drone to crash or even be shot down, the cost of a machine is negligible compared to transporting and treating injured human aid workers. Listed above are just a few of the ways using drones can save your organization money, and get help faster to areas where it is needed. Drone technology and capabilities will improve rapidly in the coming months and years. We predict that drone services will become standard in disaster zones within three years.
The Technical Aid Team is an organization dedicated to delivering technological assistance in emergency situations. Our teams consist of telecommunications technicians, software programmers, hardware technicians, and now, expert drone mechanics, programmers, and pilots. Our teams are trained to deal with all kinds of disaster situations, from earthquakes and collapsed buildings to tornadoes and hurricanes. We relish the opportunity to help in times of crisis, and we pride ourselves in our ability to get critical systems up and running, and to deliver information and supplies as soon as possible to those who need it.
The Technical Aid Team was founded in Philadelphia, PA, but now has regional offices around the world to respond quickly to disasters. Our offices employ more than 615 managers, technical experts, and support staff. See the Distribution page for a list of offices. Services – Emergency communications and computer system services, and drone surveillance and delivery services.