Advances of Drones in Logistics

A special issue of Drones (ISSN 2504-446X). This special issue belongs to the section "Innovative Urban Mobility".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (13 April 2024) | Viewed by 5225

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, The University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
Interests: urban logistics systems; last mile logistics; waste logistics; drone logistics

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Guest Editor
Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine, King’s College London, 150 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NH, UK
Interests: delivery of medicines by drone; the maintenance of quality of medicines and medical products by drone; exploration of the relationship between solid state properties and the performance of pharmaceutical materials and medicines
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, The University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
Interests: logistics system modelling; integrated logistics systems; logisics system optimisation; drone logistics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Time efficiency is a key factor in logistics, and the use of uncrewed aerial vehicles (drones) are being increasingly seen as potential tools to improve operations by reducing the time required to complete certain tasks. Drones are being used to improve the management of inventory in warehouses, whilst others are being trialled for fast point-to-point goods deliveries in areas where the traditional land journey is more challenging. With increasing levels of automation going forward, delivery drones may be able to reduce labour and transportation costs for certain types of movement in specific situations.

There are also challenges in the future development and adoption of drones used in logistics, including:

(i) the cost of the technology and staffing,

(ii) safety and regulatory requirements,

(iii) performance and reliability standards,

(iv) the ways in which drones can be effectively integrated into existing land-based logistics systems

(v) how to effectively optimise drone logistics alongside traditional freight modes (drone routing and scheduling)

(vi) public perception and acceptance,

(vii) understanding the realistic demand for such services

This Special Issue seeks high-quality and innovative scientific papers that address these challenges through practical application and theoretical case studies.

Prof. Dr. Tom Cherrett
Dr. Paul Royall
Dr. Andy Oakey
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Drones is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • drone-based warehouse logistics
  • integrated logistics incorporating drones
  • optimisation of drone-based logistics solutions
  • drone technology in logistics
  • drone logistics costs and emissions
  • security and surveillance in drone-based logistics
  • public perception and acceptance of drone logistics

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

23 pages, 2415 KiB  
Article
Hybrid Encryption for Securing and Tracking Goods Delivery by Multipurpose Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Rural Areas Using Cipher Block Chaining and Physical Layer Security
by Elias Yaacoub, Khalid Abualsaud and Mohamed Mahmoud
Drones 2024, 8(3), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones8030111 - 21 Mar 2024
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Abstract
This paper investigated the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the delivery of critical goods to remote areas in the absence of network connectivity. Under such conditions, it is important to track the delivery process and record the transactions in a delay-tolerant [...] Read more.
This paper investigated the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the delivery of critical goods to remote areas in the absence of network connectivity. Under such conditions, it is important to track the delivery process and record the transactions in a delay-tolerant fashion so that this information can be recovered after the UAV’s return to base. We propose a novel framework that combines the strengths of cipher block chaining, physical layer security, and symmetric and asymmetric encryption techniques in order to safely encrypt the transaction logs of remote delivery operations. The proposed approach is shown to provide high security levels, making the keys undetectable, in addition to being robust to attacks. Thus, it is very useful in drone systems used for logistics and autonomous goods delivery to multiple destinations. This is particularly important in health applications, e.g., for vaccine transmissions, or in relief and rescue operations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Drones in Logistics)
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22 pages, 6075 KiB  
Article
Impact of Drone Battery Recharging Policy on Overall Carbon Emissions: The Traveling Salesman Problem with Drone
by Emine Es Yurek
Drones 2024, 8(3), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones8030108 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1161
Abstract
This study investigates the traveling salesman problem with drone (TSP-D) from a sustainability perspective. In this problem, a truck and a drone simultaneously serve customers. Due to the limited battery and load capacity, the drone temporarily launches from and returns to the truck [...] Read more.
This study investigates the traveling salesman problem with drone (TSP-D) from a sustainability perspective. In this problem, a truck and a drone simultaneously serve customers. Due to the limited battery and load capacity, the drone temporarily launches from and returns to the truck after each customer visit. Previous studies indicate the potential of deploying drones to reduce delivery time and carbon emissions. However, they assume that the drone battery is swapped after each flight. In this study, we analyze the carbon emissions of the TSP-D under the recharging policy and provide a comparative analysis with the swapping policy. In the recharging policy, the drone is recharged simultaneously on top of the truck while the truck travels. A simulated annealing algorithm is proposed to solve this problem. The computational results demonstrate that the recharging policy can provide faster delivery and lower emissions than the swapping policy if the recharging is fast enough. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Drones in Logistics)
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29 pages, 10427 KiB  
Article
Paving the Way for Last-Mile Delivery in Greece: Data-Driven Performance Analysis with a Customized Quadrotor
by Charalabos Ioannidis, Argyro-Maria Boutsi, Georgios Tsingenopoulos, Sofia Soile, Regina Chliverou and Chryssy Potsiou
Drones 2024, 8(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones8010006 - 29 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2344
Abstract
Cargo drones are a cutting-edge solution that is becoming increasingly popular as flight times extend and regulatory frameworks evolve to accommodate new delivery methods. The aim of this paper was to comprehensively understand cargo drone dynamics and guide their effective deployment in Greece. [...] Read more.
Cargo drones are a cutting-edge solution that is becoming increasingly popular as flight times extend and regulatory frameworks evolve to accommodate new delivery methods. The aim of this paper was to comprehensively understand cargo drone dynamics and guide their effective deployment in Greece. A 5 kg payload quadrotor with versatile loading mechanisms, including a cable-suspended system and an ultra-light box, was manufactured and tested in five Greek cities. A comprehensive performance evaluation and analysis of flight range, energy consumption, altitude-related data accuracy, cost-effectiveness, and environmental were conducted. Based on hands-on experimentation and real-world data collection, the study proposes a novel data-driven methodology for strategically locating charging stations and addressing uncertainties like weather conditions and battery discharge during flights. Results indicate significant operational cost savings (89.44%) and a maximum emissions reduction (77.42%) compared to conventional transportation. The proposed strategic placement of charging stations led to substantial reductions in travel distance (41.03%) and energy consumption (56.73%) across five case studies in Greek cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Drones in Logistics)
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