For humanitarians responding to an emergency, connectivity helps underpin coordination efforts.
For someone who’s lost it all, staying in touch with family harbours hope, and knowing what local support is available is often a first step towards recovery.
A new WFP Drones solution that emerged from the Innovation Accelerator Bootcamp in 2021 is set to empower humanitarians responding to emergencies as well as communities in crisis.
What is it?
The Rapid Response Connectivity Carrier (R2C2) is a tethered drone solution flying 24 hours a day (powered by a cable that runs between the ground station and the drone) covering a 3 square kilometre area and providing potentially thousands of affected people and emergency responders with Internet access. R2C2 could also be powered by solar energy, making it eco-friendly as well as a flexible and efficient solution.
Testing phases: Piloting WiFi in the sky
The first prototype, developed in collaboration with Elistair, Clogworks and Ericsson Response – a key partner of the WFP-led Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) – was successfully tested in Lyon, France in October 2021.
The WFP Drones team will run a load test on 9 December 2021 at WFP headquarters in Rome, Italy, to explore how many users can simultaneously use the R2C2 network.