ANRA Technologies powering development of first medical drone delivery network in UK

 ANRA Technologies, a leader in integrated airspace management, today announced its participation in the CAELUS project, a consortium led by AGS Airports that will develop and trial the UK’s first national distribution network using drones to transport essential medicines, blood, organs, and other medical supplies throughout Scotland.

The AGS led consortium, which brings together 13 organisations, successfully secured £1.5 million from the UK Industrial Strategy Future Flight Challenge Fund to demonstrate how autonomous drone technology can enhance access to essential medical supplies, particularly in rural parts of Scotland.

The CAELUS (Care & Equity – Healthcare Logistics UAS Scotland) project started on 1 December and will involve live drone flight trials. In addition to developing the ground infrastructure needed to recharge the drones and the systems to control them while flying, a key aspect of the project will be designing pathways to ensure the drones can safely share airspace with civil aviation. The project will also ensure critical aspects such as public safety, security and noise levels are considered.

A digital blueprint of the drone delivery network will then be created with the potential to connect hospitals, pathology laboratories, distribution centres and GP surgeries across Scotland. The project is scheduled to run until Spring 2022.

ANRA is leading the development and architectural framework for the Drone Logistics Network, system-of-systems digital demonstrator. It will feature digital representations of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), the UAS Traffic Management (UTM) simulator, the energy system infrastructure, fleet management, and medical order fulfilment software. The Digital Demonstrator will provide the foundation for the Digital Twin for medical drone deliveries in Scotland. 

While there have been many drone delivery projects that have focused on the hardware, none have integrated all the necessary elements into one comprehensive solution. ANRA was sought to be a partner to leverage its SmartSkiesTM UTM, SmartSkiesTM DELIVERY, and MissionManagerTM platform experience and technology as the foundation for digital demonstrator.  

Using the flagship SmartSkiesTM platform, the CAELUS project will advance drone enabled delivery capability closer to reality for implementation into legacy airspace systems. 

“ANRA leads the CAELUS technology package that will develop the Digital Demonstrator for the Drone Logistics Network.  This really excites us since it will allow ANRA to collaborate with our partners, bringing our extensive experience in enabling airspace management, delivery, and fleet management for simulated drone delivery operations within a virtual environment followed by live flights,” stated Amit Ganjoo, CEO of ANRA Technologies.

NHS Ayrshire & Arran and the NHS West of Scotland Innovation Hub, which supports health and social care innovation across the West of Scotland, will work alongside the AGS led consortium on the project.

Karen Bell, Head of Research & Development – Innovation Lead for NHS Ayrshire & Arran said: “NHS Ayrshire & Arran are excited to be leading on the delivery of this project on behalf of the West of Scotland Innovation Hub. “This is an opportunity to work with aviation colleagues to explore the innovative use of drone technology to address some of the potential challenges facing daily delivery of NHS services, not only within NHS Ayrshire & Arran but across the West of Scotland.”

Gary Cutts, Future Flight Challenge Director, added: “At this very challenging time for the international aviation industry, it is a great testament to the UK’s drive and ambition that we have had such a strong response to the first funded Future Flight competition. The breadth, quality and creativity of the bids has been exceptional and the economic and social benefits offered are very significant. The projects we are now launching will position the UK strongly to drive the third revolution in aviation.”

The CAELUS consortium comprises:

ANRA Technologies UK Ltd NATS (Services) Limited

AGS Airports Limited Schneider Electric (UK) Limited

Atkins Ltd Avy – Drones for Good

The Drone Office Ltd Connected Places Catapult

Trax International Ltd DGP Intelsius Limited

uAvionix Ltd Leonardo MW Ltd

University of Strathclyde Dronamics

About ANRA Technologies

ANRA Technologies UK Ltd . is a leading international provider of end-to-end drone operations and traffic management solutions for unmanned system operators and airspace managers. ANRA offers intelligent and modular traffic management software capabilities as part of the SmartSkiesTM family for UAS Traffic Management (UTM) and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) operations. For organizations that need an enterprise-class drone operations solution, we offer SmartSkiesTM Mission ManagerTM and for delivery solutions, we offer SmartSkiesTM Delivery. The platforms have been rigorously tested and vetted by the world’s foremost government aviation authorities and are operational today in multiple locations worldwide.

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About AGS Airports

AGS Airports Limited was established in 2014 to invest in Aberdeen International, Glasgow and Southampton airports and is the second largest airport group in the UK.

AGS Airports Limited is jointly held by Ferrovial (via Faero UK Limited) and AGS Airports International Sarl (a Luxembourg company that is majority owned by Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 4 and managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (Europe) Limited). 

About the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund aims to bring together the UK’s world leading research with business to meet the major industrial and societal challenges of our time. The fund was created to provide funding and support to UK businesses and researchers, part of the government’s £4.7 billion increase in research and development over the next 4 years. It was designed to ensure that research and innovation take center stage in the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy. It is run by UK Research and Innovation.


UKRI works with the government to invest over £7 billion a year in research and innovation by partnering with academia and industry to make the impossible, possible. Through the UK’s nine leading academic and industrial funding councils, it creates knowledge with impact.

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The West of Scotland Innovation Hub 

The NHS West of Scotland Innovation Hub supports health and social care innovation across the West of Scotland and addresses key challenges to improve health, social care and service delivery. It is made up of: NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Ayrshire & Arran, NHS Lanarkshire, NHS Forth Valley, NHS Dumfries and Galloway and NHS Golden Jubilee National Hospital. 

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