Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

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An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is an aircraft that carries no human pilot or passengers. UAVs — sometimes called “drones” — can be fully or partially autonomous but are more often controlled remotely by a human pilot. RAND research has contributed to the public discussion on the use of drones for warfare and surveillance.

  • Man with drone in a warehouse.

    Research Brief

    What's the Buzz? Delivery Drones Are Here

    Mar 5, 2018

    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?

  • A solider using an RQ-11B Raven, a small hand-launched remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicle, in 2006, photo by SFC Michael Guillory/U.S. Army

    Report

    Could Autonomous Drones Make Blood Deliveries?

    Oct 18, 2019

    Blood must be transported and stored in a certain way, and it has a finite shelf life. Unmanned systems offer flexibility in chaotic or uncertain environments. Could autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles make the military's blood supply network more resilient?

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