Radio surveillance for search of missing persons - RASP

A pair of hands putting a cell phone on a drone

Every year, about 25,000 incident reports of missing persons are received by the police authority, of which 9,000 are judged to be serious or acute. Of these, about 450 are then assessed as life-threatening and lead to decisions about rescue efforts. In addition, problems with mental illness are becoming more common in society, which means that the search for missing persons is becoming an increasingly important function of society.

Electronic communication equipment in various forms is also becoming more common and an important part in the search for missing persons. The project, funded by Vinnova, will, together with voluntary organizations and responsible authorities, demonstrate a radio surveillance module that can be mounted on drones in the SEK 10,000 class and upwards as part of a complete management system, where drones and search personnel work together. Our primary focus is to find missing persons who have some type of radio transmitter on them, such as mobile phones, WiFi devices or other active transmitters.

The back of a person with Missing people printed on their jacket Photo credit Peter Holgersson AB

The radio surveillance platform demonstrated in the project will include a new lightweight hardware for drone-based WiFi scanning of mobile phones. The platform will also include new systems for merging and visualizing sensor data for searching for missing persons, where a first part is about effectively combining data from drone-based WiFi scanning, mobile operators and mobility models for missing persons. Organizations benefitting from the results and included in this project are; the Police Authority, the Swedish Maritime Administration, Missing People and Swedish rescue drones.