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DAASIL – Drones-As-A Service-In-Lesotho

22. März 2021 News

Dronen-Service in Lesotho

In this ambitious humanitarian example project, drones are the guarantor to provide better access to urgent basic needs for the population in remote and isolated regions in Lesotho, South Africa.

The focus of this project for us is to provide communities living in remote areas with food and basic medical supplies such as vaccines, medicines and other medical supplies to help fight diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and COVID.

The greatest challenge in Lesotho is the poor infrastructure. Remote and mountainous regions are hardly or only with difficulty accessible by normal road. Often there are no paved roads or paths. A developed public transport network in the bush does not exist. This is our starting point. With drones, medicines as well as food can be transported over long distances at short notice, independent of missing or dilapidated infrastructure (roads and rails).

We are convinced: With the help of drones, we can make up for the deficit of a lack of infrastructure so that help can quickly reach where it is needed.

Implementation

Together with the Lesotho partner company Baholo Aviation Services PVT (BAS), volaer.io will establish a drone route network in Lesotho. For this purpose, “mobile” drone hubs will be installed at locations where the highest possible target achievement can be guaranteed. A major advantage will be that the drone stations can be operated autonomously. Route planning will be flexible and demand-oriented via the drone management software developed in-house.

A decentralised hangar solution with on-site personnel is planned, which will be ready for use on call at any time. This solution is very flexible, because if demand reveals that a location has not been optimally chosen, the hangar can be transported on a truck to change locations. It is also easy to expand and set up new and additional infrastructure.

Operating principle

volaerio-functionalprinciple-medicalTransport-1

The functional principle is briefly explained in simplified form using the example application “Medical Transport”:

A certain medicine is needed in the hospital in the bush country. The hospital sends a request via the mobile network to the nearest drone hub. There, the required medical material is packed by local staff and sent to the hospital by drone. The drone delivers the requested medicine / material by parcel quickly and reliably to the hospital. It is important here to use a recyclable transport solution.

The entire mission is tracked with GPS coordinates via SAT or a mobile network. The flight control of the drone is done via GPS coordinates.

volaerio-dronentransport
Abbildung 2 Drohne mit speziellem Transportbehälter

Other conceivable drone use cases in Lesotho

Many hazardous tasks in manned aviation can be replaced by automated flight systems. Crop protection, firefighting, transport and surveillance are some of the applications that can be carried out with automated flight systems.

The use of drones is diverse, and more use cases and further project phases are already planned for Lesotho:

  • Food transport
    • Regardless of the business, volaer.io also focuses on the humanitarian aspect.
    • Through slight adaptations, the distribution & delivery of food is also possible.
  • Transport for agriculture (e.g. seeds or fertilizer)
    • Modern agriculture needs aerial applications more than ever to meet the high demands of an ever-growing world population.
    • We offer farmers a flexible, precise and responsive solution for e.g. fertilizer crop protection applications and can help improve soil structures through the use of interseeding. Through the precise application of crop protection and fertilizers, we reduce NO3 levels in the soil and ensure a lower environmental impact.
  • Border & fence monitoring
    • Border crossings and drug smuggling are a problem in Lesotho and other countries in Africa. For the military, the use of drones can be used to monitor borders and secure prisons if necessary.

Closing Statement

We are aware that the topic of “drones” achieves a similar media attention as other underestimated megatrends. However, the past has taught us that some visions of the future can become successful realities. In 2007, the iPhone was given no chance of ever achieving a significant market share. The internet, too, was long regarded as a simple “gimmick for computer freaks” and no future was seen in it, as Telekom CEO Ron Sommer announced in 1990. In 1977, it was even thought that there would never be a reason for anyone to have a computer at home in the future. (Ken Olsen, 1977, Digital Equipment).

This makes us confident that the hitherto underestimated application potential of drones will also ultimately convince us through positive success.

About Baholo Aviation Services PVT

Baholo Aviation Services PVT (BAS) was established in 2020. BAS is the leading innovator in the transport and logistics sector in Lesotho, providing consultancy services based on in-depth knowledge for various aspects of aviation. BAS is the innovative response to the urgent need to quickly reach and provide basic needs to communities that are difficult to access due to poor road network infrastructure, rugged and mountainous terrain.

Founder and Executive Chairman of BAS. (BaholoAviation Services) is Baholo Ranga Chimombe, a former professional sportsman who has represented Lesotho internationally as a rugby player, coach and mentor. Due to his close connection to the royal family, the well-connected network and his excellent knowledge of technology, the country, and its people, he is the ideal project partner on site.

About volaer.io GmbH

volaer.io was founded in 2019 within the OECON Group. The existing competences for software development as well as product and project management in the UAV sector within the OECON Group were then concentrated in volaer.io in 2020 with the spin-off to a GmbH.

volaer.io advises customers on drone procurement and operates a digital booking and management platform for drones. Together with partners in metropolitan regions, we thus offer our customers a locally available large network of drones. Supported fields of application include aerial reconnaissance and assessment for rescue services, monitoring of industrial terrain boundaries, maintenance and inspection of infrastructure facilities and coverage of agricultural and forestry areas.

Managing Director Ralf Schmitt has expertise in the areas of urban air mobility, IT, telecommunications and has extensive experience in the implementation of major international projects. As a drone service provider, volaer.io GmbH is thus able to offer platform-based drone services not only to small and medium-sized enterprises, but also to major customers.

picture source image 1: parts from freepik.com