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LOST CITIZENS AT RISK 1 year 5 months ago #529

  • K.W. Evans
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We have a significant number of older citizens with Dementia, Alzheimer's and other issues. We also have a number of small children. Both groups frequently wander and get lost. We spend a lot of time looking for them. I am looking for some type of technology that we can use to help us locate these at risk citizens. I would appreciate any type of input you can offer.

I am familiar with Project Lifesaver and I think it is basically LoJac for people. We have limited success pinging cell phones with the missing person has a cell phone. Any other info would be helpful.

Kyle Evans
Fort Bend County
Air Support
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LOST CITIZENS AT RISK 4 months 2 weeks ago #585

  • Ted Lightle
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We have the same issues. I have reached out to L3 Harris Corp with a concept. Perhaps adding GPS/cell phone type bracelets to "repeat offenders" could be part of the program. This is what I sent.
SAR Applications for Cell Sight Simulators/Digital Analyzers
I have a layman’s understanding of the basic operation of the Triggerfish, Stingray, (Harris Corp products) and similar equipment from assisting fugitive task force operations when I wore a younger man’s boots. Portable cell phone towers, basically. My question is: Does this type of equipment (in one form or another) currently exist for use in SAR applications? (I would be surprised if something like this doesn’t already exist for use in clandestine operations). I’m sure there are potentially beneficial military uses as well. Drones, perhaps, over open areas without cellular coverage in lieu of sat phone usage. If not, (for the sake of government plausible deniability), can this existing technology be used, or modified for (specifically offshore) SAR applications? And if so, can it be done affordably?
It would be an invaluable tool in the early stages of a search, before victim’s cell phone batteries expire and the search area becomes too vast. Especially if they could be deployed by air assets as well as vessels. I would think a tethered balloon from a vessel would be advantageous. Similar to the unmarked balloon on a cable to 14,000 MSL over restricted area R-2916 used near Key West. Different technology, different mission but a proven platform. The combined use of air and sea search assets may greatly increase the likelihood of a successful SAR operation prior to the transition to a recovery mission.
These ongoing questions arise again now due to the recent SAR operations launched for the two missing firefighters who left Port Canaveral. It does no good to armchair quarterback choices made by victims after the fact. Such as; going offshore in a small (23’) boat with possible issues, one engine, no float plan, no EPIRB, no sat phone, etc… All moot points now. So, aside from the apparent illogical decisions made by trained professionals and odd television interviews, the fact is a system of this nature could have targeted a small enough search area early enough in the search to boost the odds of rescue. This technology would be a tremendous asset during the early stages of a SAR operations over water or vast areas of wilderness, where no cell phone coverage exits. The bottom line is: To be able to “ping” a phone from a portable cell phone tower for SAR applications (not requiring a court order) may save lives. Especially if these devices are portable and made easy enough to use by laymen with basic training. This has been on my mind for a while. Is it worth pursuing? I have been involved in “fugitive” tracking for years prior to my aviation career. That is where I first became aware of the “Triggerfish” type technology. I’ve attached the basic concept (without charts, graphs and drawings of boats, ships, balloons, helicopters, airplanes and search grids). My involvement with the law enforcement aviation community tells me there is a need. I have been a member of the Airborne Law Enforcement Association (now APSA, Airborne Public Safety Association) for almost 25 years. I have contributed several articles and photographs over the years, mainly to their publication, Air Beat, but to several other industry publications as well. I have attended numerous seminars and training events. I have also instructed various SAR disciplines to numerous agencies over the years as an independent contractor and as a Certified Flight Instructor/Rotor Wing. There is an interest. Thanks.


Ted Lightle
Brevard County Sheriff’s Office
Cell 321-446-0050
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