Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in humanitarian logistics

Started: October 2015

Supervisor: Dr Panagiotis Angeloudis

Description of Research

Post-disaster relief requires fast deployment of goods to people in need. Relief is a time-critical process, decisions must be taken quickly with very little information and all incorrect and inaccurate decisions lag the supply chain process. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have the potential to bring cheap and accessible technologies that may accelerate most of the processes involved in humanitarian relief. The aim of this PhD is to investigate the use of UAVs in humanitarian logistics and to create a model for the distribution of goods that can be used in the planning process of humanitarian aid. The model is to be optimised to save as many lives as possible and to reduce the risks volunteers are exposed to during these situations. The model should take into account the limitations of UAVs, such as their vulnerability to weather, their limited payload capacity, and energy consumed. These will form components of a framework that could be used to coordinate the distribution of humanitarian aid resources.