Systemic Performance Analysis on Zoning for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle-Based Service Delivery
Abstract: A zoning approach that divides an area of interest into multiple sub-areas can be a systemic and strategic solution to safely deploy a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for package delivery services. Following the zoning approach, a UAV can be assigned to one of the sub-areas, taking sole ownership and responsibility of the sub-area. As a result, the need for collision avoidance between units and the complexity of relevant operational activities can be minimized, ensuring both safe and reliable execution of the tasks. Given that the zoning approach involves the demand-server allocation decision, the service quality to customers can also be improved by performing the zoning properly. To illuminate the benefits of the zoning approach to UAV operations from a systemic perspective, this study applies clustering techniques to derive zoning solutions under different scenarios and examines the performance of the solutions using a simulation model. The simulation results demonstrate that the zoning approach can improve the safety of UAV operations, as well as the quality of service to demands.
Keywords: unmanned aerial vehicle / zoning / unmanned aircraft system traffic management / clustering / collision avoidance / drone package delivery
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