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Drone infrastructure designs revelead By Atkins

Civil engineering firm AtkinsRéalis has revealed details of a drone landing pad that it has designed.

Design of the aluminium structure is inspired by origami and an opening flowerAtkinsRéalis is part of a team that is planning to trial using drones to transport essential medicines, blood, organs and other medical supplies throughout Scotland.

Project Caelus is a consortium that includes AGS Airports, NHS Scotland and the University of Strathclyde. Their drone network is part of the UK government’s Future Flight Challenge. The ground-based infrastructure to support the network is being designed by AtkinsRéalis which has unveiled its initial concept, which is lightweight aluminium structure with a lid that opens and closes like flower petals.

The landing pads could be positioned at GP surgeries, medical centres and hospitals. Chris Crombie, lead designer on the project for AtkinsRéalis said: “Project Caelus has the potential to revolutionise how rural and remote communities receive vital supplies in future. The landing infrastructure is an important part of how the network can integrate with those communities.

“There are a number of considerations in terms of the practical function of this pad as it has to be able to fit into a van or on a trailer to transport it, so it needs to be lightweight. But at the same time it needs to be secure from the elements and strong enough for the job it’s designed for. “This is the initial design stage but what the team has developed is an entirely unique concept which deliberately echoes the environment it operates in, with its flower-like design. We have essentially come up with a three-piece set of luggage to house the landing pad, the drone and medical supplies safely and securely.

“It has sustainability at its heart and, most importantly will provide NHS Scotland with the infrastructure it needs to operate the drone network and make a real difference to people’s lives.”

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