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Loudoun County Using Project Lifesaver sUAS

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2018
9 pages
This article describes the features and benefits of the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office's (Virginia) Project Lifesaver program, which uses a small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) equipped with an antenna that improves the ability of sUAS to track people with medical conditions such as Alzheimer's or autism, which can lead to disorientation and inability to find one's house when walking alone.
Clients who enroll in the program are fitted with a wristband transmitter that emits a unique frequency that enables wearers to be located if they wander from home and become lost. The sUAS has been equipped with a Project Lifesaver antenna since September 2017. The signal can be acquired by the sUAS at a distance of 7 to 9 miles. The s UAS carries infrared and thermal cameras to assist with search-and-rescue operations. It can be used to search for any lost person, not just those registered with the lifesaver program. The county has six pilots certified to fly sUAS under Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Administration regulations. The office is also approved to fly at night. Although Project Lifesaver is a nationwide program, each jurisdiction maintains clients within its jurisdiction. Currently, Loudoun County has 118 clients.

Date Published: March 1, 2018