Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or aerial drones, are an emerging technology with significant market potential. UAVs may lead to substantial cost savings in, for instance, monitoring of difficult-to-access infrastructure, spraying fields and performing surveillance in precision agriculture, as well as in deliveries of packages. In some applications, like disaster management, transport of medical supplies, or environmental monitoring, aerial drones may even help save lives. In this article, we provide a literature survey on optimization approaches to civil applications of UAVs. Our goal is to provide a fast point of entry into the topic for interested researchers and operations planning specialists. We describe the most promising aerial drone applications and outline characteristics of aerial drones relevant to operations planning. In this review of more than 200 articles, we provide insights into widespread and emerging modeling approaches. We conclude by suggesting promising directions for future research.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Drones, Operations planning, Optimization, Survey article, UAVs, Unmanned aerial vehicles
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1002/net.21818, hdl.handle.net/1765/105466
Series ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal Networks
Otto, A. (Alena), Agatz, N.A.H, Campbell, J. (James), Golden, B. (Bruce), & Pesch, E. (Erwin). (2018). Optimization approaches for civil applications of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or aerial drones. Networks. doi:10.1002/net.21818