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Minimizing Energy and Cost in Range-Limited Drone Deliveries with Speed Optimization

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Document pages: 33 pages

Abstract: This paper introduces the Energy Minimizing and Range Constrained Drone DeliveryProblem (ERDDP) in which drones are used to make deliveries to a number of customersand the drones themselves are transported by traditional vehicles that act as launch points.The ERDDP consists of (i) selecting the launch points from a potential set of sites fromwhere drones will take off to serve a number of customers, (ii) assignments of customers tothe launch points, and (iii) the speed at which drones are to travel between the customers andthe launch points. The paper presents a nonlinear model for the ERDDP, which minimizesthe total operational cost including an explicit calculation of the energy consumption ofthe drone as a function of the drone speed. The deliveries are limited by both a servicetime bound and the range of the drone. The model is reformulated using second order coneprogramming, and subsequently strengthened by the use of perspective cuts, that allows theuse of off-the-shelf optimization software to solve the problem. Computational results arepresented on a realistic data set that quantifies the effect of various parameters on location,assignment and speed decisions.

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