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AUSA 2022: US Army developing medical resupply kits for UAS

US Army Medical Research and Development Command's CLVIII Cargo Pods have an integrated parachute drop option. (Janes/Dan Wasserbly)

US Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) is developing a device to deliver whole blood and other medical supplies via an unmanned aircraft system (UAS).

Known as ‘Project Crimson', the effort seeks to deliver pods that mount on vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UASs and can carry Class VIII (CLVIII: meaning medical material and equipment) out to troops in the field, a USAMRDC spokesperson told Janes at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) 2022 conference in Washington, DC, which is being held from 10 to 12 October.

The system is in development and the eventual UAS platform is not finalised, but for now, USAMRDC is using L3Harris's FVR-90 VTOL UAS and Near Earth Autonomy's Peregrine autonomy system for autonomous landing zone evaluation, take-off, and landing, the spokesperson said.

The project's main element is two types of cargo pods: Blood Transport Pods, which are temperature-controlled and monitored, and CLVIII Cargo Pods, which have an integrated parachute drop option. The latter can carry test kits, trauma kits, or any other medical supplies that do not require temperature control, the spokesperson said. One pod could be mounted below each wing.

The FVR-90 was chosen to integrate the pods and autonomy system in part because it is a participant in the army's Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) programme.

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