Sherriff’s Agencies Pioneer Use of Lockheed Martin INDAGO UAS with Project Lifesaver International
Several sheriff’s agencies are poised to use the Lockheed Martin INDAGO quadrotor small unmanned aerial system (UAS) to perform search and rescue (SAR) operations as part of the Project Lifesaver International (PLI) programme that supports clients with autism, Down syndrome and dementia. INDAGO is paired with Project Lifesaver’s electronic location equipment used by first responders to find special needs individuals who may wander. Upon receiving a distress call, operators can rapidly deploy INDAGO to locate missing individuals. Sheriff’s agencies in New Jersey and Virginia have added the PLI INDAGO to their inventories, with additional first responders poised to join the ranks.
“The INDAGO will give Project Lifesaver agency members the ability to have an airborne asset available quickly to enhance their search capability in bringing loved ones home,” Gene Saunders, Founder and CEO of Project Lifesaver, explained. First responders have relied on manned aircraft to conduct aerial SAR operations. INDAGO reduces the response time and increases the efficiency of search efforts when time is critical. The 5lbs., collapsible INDAGO system can be stored in the trunk of any squad car and deployed within a matter of minutes.
“Coupling the Project Lifesaver antenna and control elements with the INDAGO system expands signal detectability, serves as an airborne relay, and greatly improves the probability of location success across broad search areas,” Richard Bonnett, INDAGO Program Manager, Lockheed Martin Unmanned Systems, said. “This innovative technology is available for Project Lifesaver agents to further their important public safety mission, and more importantly, to reunite individuals with their families and caretakers.”
INDAGO is used around the world in tasks spanning firefighting, disaster relief, precision agriculture and coastal erosion monitoring. The proven and reliable system has an industry-leading flight time surpassing 45 minutes, and provides high quality data with an electro-optic infrared gimbaled imager to enhance situational awareness and enable real-time decision-making.