Advanced Air Mobility: Cabin of the Future Rescue Helicopters
Authors: Ivana Moerland-Masic, Fabian Reimer, Peter Weiand, Thomas Weber, Thomas-Mathias Bock, Frank Meller, Bjoern Nagel
Abstract: In the summer of 2019, the Bertelsmann-Foundation caused quite some commotion in the medical world in Germany. Their study on the density of the hospitals and clinics in Germany showed that the current amount of 1900 could be reduced to 600. Even if it was considered too extreme, it did stir a change. There is a plan to gradually reduce the number of hospitals down to 1200, making the hospitals and clinics better equipped to treat a broad variety of medical issues. This has as a direct consequence that those hospitals will not be equally accessible for the entire population. People living in rural areas might end up having more than 30 minutes journey to the nearest hospital, in best case scenario when the traffic is light. As the current primary rescue helicopters are not equipped for the near future missions, there is a need for an air vehicle that will cover the requirements posed by as well the changes in the medical system as the patients.On the other side, the cities are growing bigger, causing traffic density to increase as well. Time that an ambulance needs to reach the place of medical emergency varies per city, and steadily increases over the years, due to the ever-growing traffic. Current Medical Personnel Deployment (aerial) Vehicle are off the shelf smaller helicopters, often still too big for its intended purpose. In January 2020, a new project within German Aerospace Center has started, bearing the name Chaser, as a means of answering to above challenge. Its goal is developing two different aerial vehicles with a bespoke cabin design. As the cabin is an integral part of the vehicles, its design is considered equally important to other components and will be developed parallel to the vehicle development. In order to ensure that the cabin is well fitting the needs of its users, a user centered approach will be applied according to the Design Thinking Method. There are three distinctive sorts of users in this case: medical personnel, vehicle operators and the patients. The current and future needs and desires of all three groups shall be considered through means of co-design, a method that will provide an insight in what users actually need. Considering the complexity of the vehicle, a close cooperation with other design disciplines, such as flight performance, structures and aerodynamics is required. This paper will show the mission definition of the two vehicles, the method used to gather and analyze the required data, the trend analysis as well as forth flowing requirements. The results of the co-design workshop series, expert in-depth interviews and user journey maps will be shown, as well as an example of possible design outcome. To wrap up, an outlook into the future project work will be depicted, including the conceptual design solutions for the posed challenges.
Keywords: Urban mobility, Rescue Helicopters, Cabin interior Design, Co-Design, Design Thinking Method, Interdisciplinary Design
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