Value proposition analysis for medium- and heavy- lift cargo unmanned aircraft systems
Author(s)Butler, Patrick C.
Sloan School of Management.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Leaders for Global Operations Program.
R. John Hansman and Arnold Barnett.
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The majority of current unmanned aircraft system (UAS) research is focusing on small UAS operations at low altitude over rural and underpopulated areas. There is a gap in research about UAS greater than 55 pounds. The first unmanned aircraft to operate in this airspace is likely to be unmanned air cargo vehicles. This paper analyzes the commercial market opportunities for medium- and heavy-lift cargo UAS by developing value propositions for each viable market. A multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) tool was developed to analyze the value proposition for cargo UAS compared to other transportation vehicles. The MCDA tool evaluated the value generated from three different value attributes: cost, time, and vehicle characteristics. These were applied across fourteen different reference missions to assess the potential utilization of cargo UAS in those markets. The results of the analysis showed that a medium-lift cargo UAS is the best transportation vehicle for organ/blood transport, medical equipment transport, urgent delivery, remote delivery, and search and rescue operations. Heavy-lift cargo UAS proved to be the best transportation vehicle for oil rig delivery, HVAC service, and disaster relief. Additional findings showed that the most significant method to reduce cost for medium-lift cargo UAS is by applying autonomy and advanced command & control systems which facilitate the operation of multiple vehicles per operator. The most important consideration to reduce cost for heavy-lift cargo UAS is to increase the specific energy of the batteries used.
Thesis: M.B.A., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, 2019, In conjunction with the Leaders for Global Operations Program at MITThesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2019, In conjunction with the Leaders for Global Operations Program at MITCataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 99-109).
DepartmentSloan School of Management; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Leaders for Global Operations Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sloan School of Management., Aeronautics and Astronautics., Leaders for Global Operations Program.