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U.S. Army Drone Helicopter May Evacuate Wounded Soldiers

April 05, 2017

Over the last several years, the United States military has been working towards using unmanned aerial drones for the purpose of assisting troops on the battlefield and carrying out medical and casualty evacuations.

Dragonfly Pictures Inc.’s DP14 Hawk, a dual-rotor unmanned aerial system, could be the future for evacuating wounded soldiers from the battlefield.

The Army’s Medical Research and Materiel Command has examined the potential applications for unmanned aerial drones.

The DP14 Hawk, which resembles a miniature CH-47 Chinook helicopter, has a cargo area of six-feet long and 20-inches wide and can carry a payload of up to 430 pounds for up to 2.4 hours at 82 miles per hour. The drone can climb at a rate of 500 feet per minute.

The drone uses 3D laser imaging and artificial intelligence to self-navigate in difficult environments, according to DPI’s website.

The Hawk can self-launch and self-land at unprepared sites and uneven and challenging terrain.

“These cutting-edge capabilities allow the Hawk to fly intelligent autonomous, NLOS, nap-of-earth missions and dynamically adapt to changes in flight conditions and terrain,” according to DPI.

“Unmanned and autonomous platforms have the potential to completely rewrite the medical doctrine for how we conduct emergency resupply of unmanned and autonomous platforms, including whole blood products delivered directly to the point of need, as well as monitored CASEVAC missions when dedicated medical evacuation assets are unavailable or are otherwise denied entry due to weather, terrain, or enemy activity,”  Daniel R. Kral, commander of the Army’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, said in a statement.