Airspace Link, Inc., the leading North American provider of solutions designed to help state and local government agencies better plan for and manage the safe integration of drones into their communities, supported the nation’s first autonomous, multi-modal Organ Transplant Transportation last week in Ohio. Airspace Link, participated in a demo that used a combination of manned and unmanned aircraft and vehicles to transport 3D printed kidneys and Blood Units from The Ohio State University in Columbus to a local hospital located in Marysville.
The demonstration, held on Thursday, May 13, 2021, was enabled by JobsOhio and DriveOhio, and included resources from 8 companies, including The Ohio State University’s Airport and Center for Automotive Research, Lifeline of Ohio, Workhorse Group, Advanced Mobility Collective (AMC), Transplant Coordinators of America (TCOA), VyrtX, and Airspace Link. The cohort included over 30 personnel that came together to make this first of a kind demonstration successful.
“Our goal was to show the world that there’s a more advanced and efficient way to move life-saving medical treatments, including organs, which requires the most complex logistical coordination between doctors, hospitals, organ recovery organizations, air and ground transportation providers, from point A to point B,” said Lisa Peterson, VP of Marketing and Business Development for Airspace Link. “Several advanced air and ground mobility partners came together in Ohio to showcase a multi-modal logistics supply chain to move this 3D printed organ and additional tissues, vessels and blood.”
Peterson explained Airspace Link’s AirHub™ solution played a key role in assisting the Workhorse Group to obtain a Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability approval from the FAA for the transport of medical supplies using their small UAS, the Horsefly, across airport grounds. This approval required further justification with the FAA, a capability also supported by AirHub, given that the flight path was around the outside of the runway and taxi areas of the airport.
Airspace Link is paving the way to modernize mobility opportunities and continues to help push drones for good, create safer mobility options and boost local economies. One way this is achieved is by empowering the industry with data-driven planning solutions and applications that they can rely upon to determine the safest flight path for drones and larger unmanned aircraft systems through and between communities. Airspace Link’s AirHub provides actionable insights regarding ground hazards, population densities and mobility patterns, and local advisories to help drone operators mitigate risks in their flight plans. For this operation, the drone routes were assessed by the AirHub solution to ensure safety.
“This demo was the first mission of its kind to move medical cargo, across a 35-mile geography, using a combination of small and large air and ground autonomous systems from a dense area — Columbus, Ohio — to an open, rural environment—Marysville, Ohio,” said Peterson. “As advanced as our medical technologies and capabilities are for saving lives, the health care community can often be faced with challenges in treating patients due to inefficient and high-cost transportation options. By introducing these new modes of transport, we can provide better options to the heath care community, so they can treat their patients timelier, and in the case of organ transport, every ten minutes of time saved can mean the difference in the years of life for that organ.”