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CAELUS 2

Consortium Mission

CAELUS-2 builds upon the work undertaken in its predecessor CAELUS and aims to show the operation of a network of multiple electric drones for the distribution of medical products and medicines across Scotland.

Consortium Details

Project CAELUS-2 (Care & Equity - Logistics UAS Scotland) seeks to demonstrate how drone technology can enhance access to essential medical supplies, particularly in rural parts of Scotland, and establish what would be the UKs first national distribution network serviced by drones. The project is part funded through UKRI Future Flight Fund under Phase 3 which focuses on demonstration.

With approximately 20% of Scotland's population living in remote or rural areas spread across 94% of the land mass, service delivery can encounter constraints which contributes to treatment inequity. NHS-Scotland views the adoption of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) as an opportunity to transform the patient experience and reduce the impact of traffic congestion and CO2 emissions.

A recent report by PWC examined the impact of drones to the UK's economy, jobs, productivity and quality of life and estimates the impact by 2030 to be 16 billion pounds in cost savings, an additional 42 billion to GDP, the creation of over 6,000 drone sector jobs and in the region of 76,000 drones across UK skies.

As NHS-Scotland emerges from the pandemic with focus on the remobilisation, recovery and redesign of services, novel use of UAS will disrupt models of service delivery and transform patient pathways, moving it closer to the patient and a homely care setting.

CAELUS-2 will carry out live and digital flight demonstrations, proving that operating a network of multiple drones can integrate safely with existing flight operations and therefore regulatory needs and social acceptance issues can be resolved. The project team, led by AGS Airports and formed of 16 partners, including NHS-Scotland bring a diverse range of technical and industry experience and expertise to support CAELUS-2 in achieving its aims and objectives.

The project has three main workstreams:

  • Developing new concepts for drones to integrate with others using Scotland's airways
  • Demonstration of these concepts through implementation and operation of physical and digital flight demonstrations of drone deliveries by multiple drone operators and an innovative digital twin model to optimise the network.
  • Demonstration of innovative new ways of proactively engaging with communities, airspace users and potential customers.

With NHS-Scotland embedded in CAELUS-2 this ensures it will be an exemplar innovation project, addressing the remobilisation challenges in a once-for-Scotland approach.

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