Plymouth Rock Technologies has supplied its first Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to the United Nations (UN) as part of UNSOM (United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia) for use in a reseeding mission under the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
UNEP estimates that 8.2 million trees were cut down for charcoal in Somalia between 2011 and 2017, increasing land degradation, food insecurity and vulnerability to flooding and drought. Over 80 percent of charcoal produced in Somalia is exported to Gulf States and neighbouring countries. Illegal trade in charcoal is recognised as a key contributor to insecurity in Somalia, providing a major source of funding for militias, terrorist groups, and other actors linked to conflict, who illegally tax exports.
To address the issue on both the demand and supply side, the Government of Somalia needed cooperation to implement the UN Security Council Resolution and curb the environmental, economic and human losses.
The platform supplied for this application is a highly modified hexacopter drone that has the sensory and beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) capability of the PRT X1.
“Operating in a war zone, flying BVLOS at night whilst carrying a heavy payload, and delivering it with exact precision is not a simple undertaking,” stated Carl Cagliarini, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of PRT. “Not to mention in all weather conditions and on a 20 nautical mile round trip! The technologies within this UAV platform combined are not dissimilar to that found on military assets. The task of stripping away every ounce of weight to add the means for stealth flight and essential mission tools was critical.”
“Notwithstanding the tremendous accolade of serving a UN mission, but one with an undertaking of such ecological and economic importance is an honour for all of our staff and the company as a whole,” added Dana Wheeler, Co-Founder and CEO of PRT. “I believe that this deployment is a further example of the world class ingenuity and engineering capability within the PRT team and it’s technology partnerships. Working on essential UK NHS programs along with completing the UN shipment during the first week of the new year required our staff to work through the holidays and COVID-19 restrictions is testimony of our team commitment to delivering what is required when it is essential,” concluded Wheeler.
“During my many years in government service, I got to witness first-hand the incredible work the United Nations does. It is a true honour for us at Plymouth Rock Technologies to be part of such an important project,” said Douglas Smith, Chairman of Plymouth Rock and former Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security.