About the UAV Program


There are many instances where conducting an airborne search for a missing client is necessary, but not always readily accessible. A helicopter cannot be airborne on command, and there are a number of factors that can slow the deployment even further, including the weather conditions and the availability of both a helicopter and a licensed flight crew. The time awaiting the deployment and arrival of a helicopter is valuable in the search for a missing client, and so began the pursuit to integrate another aerial asset option with the Project Lifesaver Program.

In partnership with Lockheed Martin and Loen Engineering, the PLI Indago UAV was developed in an effort to increase the availability of airborne assets to Project Lifesaver member agencies. Implementation of the drone began in February 2017 at the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office in New Jersey, with a number of agencies following soon after.

The PLI Indago UAV

The PLI Indago UAV is a military grade, quad rotor UAV designed specifically for the search and rescue of special needs populations with cognitive disorders who are prone to the life threatening behavior of wandering. The PLI Indago UAV is a unique aid to public safety agencies that is easy to operate; it is a reliable tool that significantly expands the ability to locate a signal, and has greatly improved the probability of a successful recovery across broad search areas. The PLI Indago UAV, the only drone compatible with Project Lifesaver locating equipment, extends search areas from approximately one and a half miles at hover to over three miles above the tree line and is an affordable alternative to manned aviation assets, such as helicopters.

EnduranceUp to 50 minutes with payload
PayloadMultiple, hot-swappable payloads
Range2-10 km (radio and antenna dependent)
Dimensions32 x 32 x 7 in (12 x 9 x 7 folded)
Weight5 lbs. (2,300g) with ION payload
Operating Altitude10-500 ft AGL (typical)
GCSTouchscreen hand controller or laptop-based Virtual Cockpit

Enhancing Your Project Lifesaver Program with the PLI Indago UAV


Rapid Deployment

Unlike other aerial assets, the PLI Indago UAV is able to deploy within minutes of arriving to the client’s point last seen. With the ability to be stored in an emergency vehicle, the UAV is easily accessible and only takes a few moments to prepare for flight. This allows for effective use of time, and the ability to locate the missing client in a more timely manner.

Extended Search Ranges

Utilization of the PLI Indago UAV extends the search area from a mile radius on the ground up to a 3-5 mile radius above the tree line.

More Cost Effective

The cost of the PLI Indago UAV is only a fraction the initial cost of other aerial assets available, and the operating expenses remain significantly lower in comparison. Utilization of the UAV in a search, and its ability to rapidly deploy also shorten recovery times, thus diminishing the amount resources needed to successfully located the missing client.

Project Lifesaver UAV Training and Certifications


Included with the purchase of the PLI Indago UAV is a comprehensive training package to prepare each drone pilot for flight. This package includes:

Flight and Aerial Search Instruction provided on site at your agency for up to 3 future pilots. Each person undergoing this training must be a Certified Electronic Search Specialist prior to this 3-day instruction.

A comprehensive online preparatory Part 107 course provided by our partners at DARTDrones to ensure all member agencies are best prepared to pass the FAA Certification, and excel in their position as a certified Project Lifesaver Drone Pilot.

For more information or to discuss purchase options, please contact our Special Projects Division via phone at 772-446-1275.