UAV/Drone COVID19 Emergency Airbridge to the Isles of Scilly

Lead Participant: DRONEPREP LTD


Cuts to Isles of Scilly ferry and air services due to the on-going Covid-19 crises is hindering medical and other logistics services.

Our consortia, led by DronePrep and supported by Windracers, University of Southampton and Consortiq propose to utilise the Windracers ULTRA UAV platform to deliver a range of payloads as required by the Council of the Isles of Scilly and Cornwall Council and Cornwall Council in response to time-critical Covid-19 challenges.

In gleaning the support these partners they have jointly stated to our consortia that:

'One of the main challenges facing CIoS is that it is a rural peripheral region with dispersed communities. The ULTRA UAV provides a solution which could be used to connect remote communities across the region, enable NHS services to be delivered more effectively and overcome the limitations associated with traditional modes of transport.'

Validated CIoS partners are supportive of offering their facilities for the test flights proposed. The Council of the Isles of Scilly operate St Mary's Airport, and Cornwall Council own and operate Cornwall Airport Newquay.

The Isles of Scilly Council are responsible for Social Care/Care Home provision on the Islands and it is proposed that these trials will focus on trial delivery of essential items such as PPE and Covid-19 tests to those in a Care setting and potentially thereafter extend to supplement NHS supply chains should CLoS partners request and enable this thereafter.

To achieve this we will be the first consortia to:

1) Demonstrate UAV capability in delivering supplies to the islands whilst comparing performance of this intervention to existing manned alternative

2) Explore the viability of securing multiple landing sites to allow dynamic and flexible goods transfer between islands

3) Work toward contributing to protocols research to test the transport Dangerous Goods via UAV

Our consortium were informed on 31st July 2020 that this application (submitted in May 2020) had been successful at the technical assessment phase of the UKRI COVID-19 Open Call Innovate UK response competition and a funding award is due on 26th August 2020 which would facilitate the commencement of this project for a period of upto 4 months starting 2 September 2020\.

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