Use of Drones for Search and Rescue

Hey all,

I work with a sheriff's department in Arizona USA and while not always available, air support is our most powerful ally. I am interested in the use of a quadcopter platform for the specialized use of Search and Rescue. With the development of the autopilot software and being able to set waypoints, these types of aircraft are an extremely viable option for being able to fly grids with a camera. I am wondering if anyone can help get me started! I have some experience with circuits but can learn! I would appreciate any etc.



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  • Hey James, what organization are you with? I was a member of CAMRA/MCSOMR several years ago and I'd be interested in working with you. As has been said, quads (multicopters) have very short endurance. It's difficult to even achieve 30 minutes and then you would not be able to carry much payload. What type of payload are you looking to carry?


  • Moderator

    Hi James 

    You can catch up with what has happened so far in that space here and we recently talked search and rescue on our podcast There will be a book launch soon which will detail best practices.

    Best of luck for you research


  • Hi James,

    You might have better luck with a platform that has a longer range. From my experience the diy level quadcopters only have a short flight time. has a great starting level mapping platform that you could adapt. Any when you are ready to map orthomaps, 3d models and dems -- check out

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