Italy completes second phase of D-Flight trials with delivery of BVLOS medical supplies

Leonardo reports completion of the second phase of trials with Italian air navigation service provider ENAC, Telespazio, Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital.

The beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights are underway to support development of Italy’s D-Flight’s platform dedicated to Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM). D-Flight aims to make traditional aviation and remotely piloted aircraft coexist in the airspace through its operations room and drone tracking service which allow coordination between the drone operator and ENAV.

Compared to the previous phase which ended successfully in October 2020, this second experimentation involved the use of an electric drone equipped with a new “lift and cruise” technology to transport biomedical items between the sampling center of Santa Marinella and the analysis center of Palidoro for over 30 km on a longer route and further away from the coast.

This penultimate phase also saw the evolution of Telespazio’s T-Dromes platform, with new command and control functions for the drone, also via satellite, and which acts as the main interface of the healthcare operator, who will be able to request the service through a simple app.

This is one of the first demonstrations in Italy of delivery of biomedical products, on routes not easily accessible by ordinary roads, with the aid of vertical take-off drones equipped with electric propulsion and therefore with a very low ecological and acoustic impact.

The Italian Air Force also participated in this phase of the experimentation by simulating a rescue mission at sea during the flight of the biomedical transport drone, allowing operational coordination between manned and unmanned systems via D-Flight and the subjects in charge of traffic management.

The long-term goal is to extend the service with real biological samples, even in an urban environment, by connecting various locations and health facilities with simultaneous operations of multiple drones.

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