Civilian and Commercial Drones

  • North Korean defectors living in South Korea hold balloons containing leaflets and CDs denouncing Kim Jong-un near the demilitarized zone north of Seoul, February 16, 2013

    Report

    Options for Flying Contraband into North Korea

    Activist groups in South Korea are seeking improvements in the balloons they use to carry political, religious, and humanitarian materials across the border into North Korea. Balloon delivery techniques have evolved and some have started using hexacopter drones. How effective are these methods?

    Apr 2, 2018

  • Man with drone in a warehouse.

    Research Brief

    What's the Buzz? Delivery Drones Are Here

    Delivery drones are fast becoming a reality. As many as three million commercial drones could be flying in U.S. airspace by 2020. The prospect of a package arriving at your door in a matter of minutes is exciting, but what do we know about the hidden costs, the safety concerns, and the trade-offs?

    Mar 5, 2018

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: January-February 2018

    This issue highlights RAND research on life inside the Islamic State and on the economic returns of early childhood investments, plus lessons for the U.S. from Britain's approach to free child care.

    Jan 3, 2018

  • Unmanned aircraft system (uav) quadcopter drone in the air over commercial buildings

    Report

    International Commercial Drone Regulation and Drone Delivery Services

    Commercial drone regulations vary from country to country; regulatory bodies struggle to adapt current laws to new technology. The author draws on a literature review to summarize regulations and highlight the obstacles to drone use worldwide.

    Dec 5, 2017

  • A drone takes off from an operations center in Muhanda, Rwanda, on its way to deliver blood supplies to remote hospitals, October 12, 2016

    Commentary

    Drones Could Deliver Change to Africa

    Drones could transform Africa's urban and rural infrastructure and enhance its agricultural productivity. But deployment of drones on the continent faces technological, economic, social, and legal, and regulatory challenges.

    Nov 17, 2017

  • A quadrocopter being flown over a field

    Report

    Options for Regulating Small Unmanned Aerial Systems

    The FAA predicts that there will be between 2.75 and 4.47 million small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) flown in the United States by 2021. As the skies become more crowded, action is needed from the federal government and sUAS manufacturers and operators to ensure the public's safety.

    Nov 6, 2017

  • Report

    Design Perspectives on Delivery Drones

    This report explores the vehicle design aspects of delivery drones, including flight efficiency, energy consumption, noise, and safety, which are central to the viability of delivery drones.

    Sep 28, 2017

  • Report

    The Energy Implications of Drones for Package Delivery: A Geographic Information System Comparison

    In this report, we use a geographic information system analysis to compare truck versus delivery drone energy use.

    Sep 28, 2017

  • A delivery drone flying over a city

    Report

    What's the Buzz? The City-Scale Impacts of Drone Delivery

    This report examines the developing technology for using drones to deliver packages and attempts to identify the societal impacts. In particular, the author estimates the potential effects on energy consumption, aerial congestion, and other outcomes.

    Aug 9, 2017

  • A Zipline delivery drone releases its payload during a demonstration near San Francisco, California, May 5, 2016

    Report

    What's the Buzz on Delivery Drones?

    Millions of commercial drones may be in the air by 2020. This could make near-instant airborne delivery a reality. But what are the hidden costs?

    Dec 20, 2016

  • An Australia Post drone is pictured during a delivery trial in Melbourne, April 15, 2016

    Commentary

    How to Prevent Drones Colliding in Crowded Skies

    The federal government should work with private firms to develop drone traffic management systems and test drone designs. This could help stimulate the development of drone aviation. It could also help modernize the air traffic control system.

    Sep 14, 2016

  • The DHL parcel service subsidiary of Deutsche Post AG tested a "microdrones md4-1000" for delivery of medicine

    Commentary

    Regulating Drone Airspace Using 'Smart Markets'

    With commercially operated autonomous drones potentially on the horizon, a policy problem is likely to emerge: allocation of scarce airspace and preferred flight paths. “Smart markets” could help.

    Apr 19, 2016

  • Shira Efron presenting at a Pardee Initiative lunch on May 21, 2015

    Dissertation

    The Use of Unmanned Aerial Systems for Agriculture in Africa: Can It Fly?

    Examines the feasibility of adopting agricultural unmanned aerial systems in Africa.

    Nov 11, 2015

  • Report

    Designing Unmanned Systems with Greater Autonomy: Using a Federated, Partially Open Systems Architecture Approach

    Many current unmanned systems (UxSs) employ different communication systems and have limited autonomy, which limit information sharing with warfighters and other UxSs. This report identifies ways to address these limitations.

    Sep 17, 2014

  • U.S. Air Force Academy's unmanned Viking 300 aircraft

    Commentary

    Expect More Drone Use Like Recent Israeli Episode

    Practically any country that aspires to an indigenous aviation industry (as most countries do, even if only for national pride) has a reasonably capable, medium-altitude unmanned drone system in development or flying already, writes Ted Harshberger.

    Oct 11, 2012