Lockheed Martin partners for UAV search and rescue

By Emily Aasand | May 05, 2015

Lockheed Martin has partnered with Project Lifesaver International, who provides response for adults and children who wander due to Alzheimer’s, autism, and other related conditions or disorders, and Loen Engineering Inc. to bring advanced technology to first response agencies. Lockeheed’s Indago, a vertical take-off and landing quad rotor will be integrated with a lightweight antenna and receiver developed by Loen Engineering. The system allows Project Lifesaver agencies and first responders to rapidly locate special needs individuals who have wandered from their homes.

“Using the Project Lifesaver location device with aviation assets will extend search areas from approximately one and a half miles to well over seven miles,” said Gene Saunders, CEO and founder of Project Lifesaver International. “Integrating Lockheed Martin’s Indago with the Project Lifesaver capability is a game changer for Project Lifesaver agencies because it offers an affordable alternative to manned aviation assets and can be used by any first responder agency.”

The Indago weighs less than five pounds, has a flight time of about 45 minutes, is able to carry both a color camera and a thermal camera, and requires no assembly, which Lockeheed says can reduce the response time and increase the efficiency of search efforts when time is critical.

“This partnership opens the aperture for unmanned systems to be used in critical search and rescue situations that aid public safety agencies with the important humanitarian mission targeting high-risk individuals,” said Dave Pringle, general manager of Lockheed Martin Procerus Technologies. “Indago’s ability to provide an eye-in-the-sky in just minutes enables first responders to increase their effectiveness in locating wandering persons and reuniting them with their families.”

The Indago, coupled with Project Lifesaver’s antenna and control elements expands signals detectability, serves as an airborne relay, and greatly improves the probability of location success across broad search areas. The Indago’s electro-optic infrared gimbaled imager provides high quality data and enhanced situational awareness for operators to make real-time decisions. Lockheed added that the Indago is capable of providing tactical situational awareness and geo-location to aid in a variety of missions, from firefighting to precision agriculture to search and rescue.


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