Japan, Mongolia Establish Drone Delivery of Blood Supplies: Level 4 BVLOS Operations

juida logojuida logoThis article published in collaboration with JUIDA, the Japan UAS Industrial Development Association.

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian J. McNabb

A partnership between Japanese and Mongolian UAV and healthcare organizations recently completed a blood delivery between an Ulaanbataar hospital and transfusion center with the intention of eventually establishing regular medical delivery services in the area. Aeronext, NewCom Group, Seino and KDDI Smart jointly announced the demonstration flight, which took place over a 9.5km span earlier this year. 

Japan, Mongolia drone delivery blood supplies

Ulaanbataar, the capital of Mongolia, is a difficult environment for UAV operations with high winds, significant altitude, and extremely low temperatures. However, due to its high congestion and population density (roughly half of Mongolia’s entire population lives within city limits), there’s a significant need for increased UAV infrastructure, especially as air pollution rises. After the “Mongolia New Smart Logistics Symposium 2023”, a working group was established to try and develop drone delivery and other advanced air infrastructure projects in the region. This project is the latest accomplishment of the working group as they work towards regular flight operations. 

According to the press release, this was the first ever logistics flight to feature Level 4 BVLOS operation over a populated area at -15° C (5° F) at an altitude of 1300m. The UAV used was the AirTruck logistics drone, jointly developed by Aeronext and ACSL with a 5kg payload and a maximum range of 20km. 

Other recent advances in drone medical flights include recent drone deliveries of over 6000 vaccine doses to remote areas of the Ethiopian Highlands (also at significant altitude) by Swoop Aero, an Australian firm. 

The original (Japanese-language) press release is available here.

Ian McNabb is a staff writer based in Boston, MA. His interests include geopolitics, emerging technologies, environmental sustainability, and Boston College sports.

Miriam McNabbMiriam McNabb

Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry.  Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.


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