Operation Last-Mile: Critical Drone Delivery Testing Report

Combined Test Results

Here are combined statistics and results on the 90 delivery flights completed by ​ DroneUp ​ using the Inspire 2 drone during Operation Last-Mile: Critical Drone Delivery.

(All times in minutes)

All

Day

Night

Manual Pre-Programmed Line of Beyond Line

Night

Flights Flights Flights Flights

Flights

Sight

of Sight

Number of Flights

90

75

15

75

15

15

75

Distance (total feet)

924

898

1046

930

893

581

993

Time Ascending (Takeoff)

0.52

0.52

0.53

0.54

0.43

0.25

0.57

Time to Target

0.84

0.90

0.54

0.83

0.88

0.79

0.85

Time on Target

2.01

1.89

2.55

1.89

2.58

0.68

2.27

Time Returning

0.38

0.38

0.37

0.37

0.42

0.25

0.40

Time Descending (Landing)

0.49

0.49

0.53

0.43

0.79

0.31

0.53

Total Elapsed Time

4.24

4.18

4.52

4.06

5.10

2.28

4.62

Speed to Target (mph)

7.5

6.6

11.7

7.9

5.8

4.8

15.2

Speed Returning

15.4

15.1

17.0

15.9

12.8

15.2

15.5

Battery Consumption

20.20% 19.4% 24.3%

19.5%

24.2%

10.7%

22.1%

As expected, speeds returning without a payload were faster than speeds carrying the payload. Time over the target at night was 37% greater than during the day due to reduced visibility of the target at night. The pre-programmed flights (automatically flying the drone to and from the target) were a full minute (24%) longer than manual flights. This is due to higher programmed altitudes and slower speeds compared to pilots flying manually. ● Battery consumption on the Inspire 2 drone for these 4.2-minute flights averaged 20.2%. That means, on average, a team could complete (3) of these 1000 foot round trip missions before having to change out the batteries. ● Automation can be valuable for drone delivery to ensure that the drone reaches its target and returns to base efficiently. However, the actual drop decision and execution needs to remain with the pilot and VO if the drop area is dynamic and subject to conditions outside of anyone’s control, such as people and vehicles being present. ● Radio communication protocols were developed on-the-fly during the exercise. We want to establish operating procedures for radio communication between Pilot, LoadMaster, and VO so that common jargon and procedures are used.

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