DRONES FOR SEARCH AND RESCUE

Discussion in 'Missing Persons Resources' started by KALIMOUSE, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. KALIMOUSE

    KALIMOUSE Well-Known Member

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    I have been researching using drones for search and rescue for the past few years and I would like to share with the forum some important things I have learned to successfully use drones in search and rescue.

    The very first thing to understand, just because you have a drone doesn't make you effective in searching for a missing person. Its how you use the drone as a tool that can make the difference between life and death.
    Dji mavic pro, they are cheap and you can buy them used with batteries for about $500. A drone can only fly up to 30 minutes per battery and takes about a hour to charge. Having multiple will extend the time your searching in the air.
    I personally use the LITCHI app.



    Its a paid app, around $20+, but its the best app in my opinion because you can plan out mission on a pc. Fly the mission virtually on google earth pro before you even go to the location. It allows adjustments of flight altitude based on geographic data, create way points and POI for the camera to focus on.



    For making flight plans for with way-point missions, I suggest getting a trial of DJI FLIGHT PLANNER.



    This software automatically creates flight plans based on your desired search area outline for the exact drone you are using based on height. This is a key component because if you planning on flying at 100 feet and your drones lens is narrow . You could miss your target by yards. You must cover every inch with overlap to ensure that nothing is missed. Flying manually the chances are minimal success.

    Once you have made a flight plan, upload it to litchi, fly it virtually to make sure that you have coverage and altitude clearance.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ocoj2g4kuQs

    The litchi app, fly's for you, all you have to is fly the drone to more than 15 feet , load the mission, and press go. At the maximum recommended S&R speed and altitude, you can search almost 500 acres in a hour.

    Its good to have multiple SD cards, when you switch out batteries, change cards. When the next mission is flying,start the footage copying to a laptop to search the results from the previous flight.

    When the footage is done copying you run it through a software called LOC8.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4L3MPdOepc

    If you know the color of clothes that person was last known wearing, this software will search every pixel from the footage for that exact color or shades of matching colors. This is a game changer that is essential.


    The next issue is, what about what we cant see from above. In rugged environment, trees and vegetation make be blocking overhead flight from locating a target. There are two currently available solutions.

    Skydio 2 has a object avoidance that is currently the best on the market.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WtoCrF0smo

    It works with a 3rd party flight planning app named Drone Deploy. You use drone deploy as a replacement for DJI FLIGHT PLANNER, for the skydio 2.

    The second solution is LIDAR. I am just going to let this video speak for how amazing LIDAR is.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNFNVSU6A24

    Lidar can even find graves

    Lidar could help in search for missing murder victims | Electro Optics

    I would like to start a non-porfit rapid response drone search and rescue team similar to ADVENTURES WITH PURPOSE, but for the air. There is constant evolution in the tech available that its hard for law enforcement to up with the ever changing industry. They have budgets and red tape to acquire this tech. Additionally, most are limited on searching outside of jurisdiction or on cold cases.

    This wonderful forum is filled with amazing individuals with outstanding skills, if we had a section on the forum to post drone footage for users to comb through or give suggestions on search locations. We could be a more effective community in bringing family's back together.
     


  2. ?!?

    ?!? Well-Known Member

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    I think you've got a WINNER here! Cutting edge, so patience with the rest of the world will be required. Just wanted to express interest and encourage you to PRESS ON!

    Where are you located? What would it cost to DO this, if you were to do it near to you?
     
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  3. KALIMOUSE

    KALIMOUSE Well-Known Member

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    Thank you,
    Since I first posted this, I have been able to get a working prototype created and have been successfully able to solve 5 cold cases solely using this tech.
    Overall the cost was mostly for the drone. I have to use a DJI M300 and purchased a used one for about 6k. If your questions was to how much I am charging to use this? I am not charging anything, just need to know the details of where to search and the car make and model.
     
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  4. ?!?

    ?!? Well-Known Member

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    WOW! Already SOLVED FIVE CASES !! Looks like you've got the 'wrinkles' out and have some GREAT success to point to! I notice you say "car make and model" -- is this usable for searching for human remains (as in a photo), or metal only (sonar)? What do you think of using it to follow beside a vehicle (say at a height of 30 feet, 50 feet away) as it drove beside a highway?

    Any details you care to provide about the successes you've had (were they all vehicular, in a swamp, near a road , etc,) would be appreciated. Have you started a website (for donations and requests for help)? Thanks for any info.
     
  5. KALIMOUSE

    KALIMOUSE Well-Known Member

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    It is not streamlined yet, I still have to do a lot of post processing and still need to create a GUI. It only works for keys, it emulates a ignition.

    It is not capable to track a car at this time, after every flight we have to download the data and scan for spikes . I did 10 controlled environment tests before testing on a real case. Out of 12 cases we flew , it found 5 sets of keys associated with missing persons. Without knowing the reasons for the failed 7, unknown variables, more tests need to be conducted before moving to the next stage of prototype.

    I haven't created a website yet and have been self funding this myself
     
  6. ewwdavid

    ewwdavid New Member

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    Hey, just wanted to say I think this is a great idea and thank you for putting your time and energy into it! If there is any way any of us can help support your journey, I would love to know. Not sure if that kind of thing is allowed on the site, so I apologize if it isnt. I just think this kind of energy is great. I have a drone learned so many things just ready your post! Keep on keeping on friend.
     
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  7. ?!?

    ?!? Well-Known Member

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    - YOUR DRONE EXPERIENCE REQUESTED:
    I am trying to decide WHICH drone to buy -- application would be to do photo searches of things like swamps, gullies and roadsides (while driving along). With all the product available, would like to hear any EXPERIENCE others may have, both good and bad, with recommendations. THANKS!!
     
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  8. KALIMOUSE

    KALIMOUSE Well-Known Member

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    Skydio 2 , the best autonomous drone on the market. It will follow the vehicle with the beacon and you can choose what position you would like it to be on, front back,either side height, and distance. Here is a sample video of it
     
  9. ?!?

    ?!? Well-Known Member

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    WOW! That demo is INSANE! Can see why you think it 'best!' But since my needs are much more modest (not flying BETWEEN branches, etc.) I'm wondering what is the least expensive one that would give me decent recordable video and wouldn't break/fall apart every other time I used it...any thoughts on that? THANKS!
     
  10. KALIMOUSE

    KALIMOUSE Well-Known Member

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    The cheapest solution would be to buy a used mavic pro.
     
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  11. ?!?

    ?!? Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again.
     
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  12. Trackergd

    Trackergd Verified SAR Manager and Tracker - Retired

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    The next step would be to equip a long range drone with high quality LiDar. A fixed wing may be better for this as it would have a longer loiter time in the target area. Another drone with Flir thermal imaging would give you the ability to search an area just after sunset and detect a warm person or body in heavily wooded areas. Starting a team with two additional drone pilots would spread the cost out with some additional crowd funding. Might want to try and recruit former military drone pilots as they would have a ton of experience.
     
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  13. Trackergd

    Trackergd Verified SAR Manager and Tracker - Retired

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  14. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    Drones which are equipped with infrared systems are able to pick up body heat from people or animals - even through some forms of overhead cover such as trees.

    Besides flight time limitations (battery or fuel consumption) there are limitations as to how long the infrared equipment can be operated. Some require a source of bottled oxygen for cooling.

    With today's ability to link a drone with a computerized flight path, it would be easy to fly set patterns, such as expanding square or ladder pattern in a given zone area.
     
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  15. Trackergd

    Trackergd Verified SAR Manager and Tracker - Retired

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    I am hoping that airborne platform mounted LiDar technology becomes detailed enough to be autonomously able to follow a specific set of footprints. Experienced Trackers are limited by the speed we can walk (or run) and there are fewer of us every year.
     
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  16. KALIMOUSE

    KALIMOUSE Well-Known Member

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    There is a non-profit that they uses drone for tracking animal footprints. They use data sets which could easily be changed to human prints
     
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