SkyBound Rescuer And DJI Unite For The First Time


SkyBound Rescuer And DJI Unite For The First Time

Collaboration Is Aimed To Help Search Teams Better Locate Missing Persons


LONDON, November 3, 2022 Leading public safety drone company, SkyBound Rescuer, has partnered with global drone manufacturer DJI to launch the Drone SAR Altitude Guide, an innovative and lifesaving survey based on years of research, which will enable Police and Search and Rescue drone pilots to better locate missing persons.


Why the Drone SAR Altitude Guide is needed

While drones are increasingly being deployed in successful missing person cases, several variables can still impact a drone’s ability to locate the missing person. One of those variables is the speed of response, which directly impacts survivability in Search and Rescue (SAR) situations; as search areas expand with time, the likelihood of a successful find reduces. The quick decision-making of Police and SAR drone pilots is therefore critical to missing persons – a challenge within a complex set of considerations.

One vital variable that can impact drone performance is altitude. The size of the person or search object on the drone pilot’s screen is influenced most by flying altitude. Flying too high could mean that the missing person is less than a pixel on their screen, and therefore impossible to detect with a human eye. In addition, the optimal flying altitude depends on whether the camera gimbal is slanted or top-down and whether the missing person is standing up, walking, or lying down. All of these variables determine the size of the person or object on the screen.


The altitude solution

For the past six years, SkyBound Rescuer has conducted extensive research into all variables that impact drone performance during searches. The work now culminates in the partnership with DJI to create the Drone SAR Altitude Guide, a three-question survey for Police and SAR drone pilots to complete prior to drone flight in order to find the optimal altitude for locating a missing person.

Once the quick survey is completed as part of pre-flight checks, the user is taken to a sample image from a visual camera and sample images from a thermal camera: two samples with different thermal palettes – the two most commonly used in SAR: White Hot and Iron Red. This then allows the user to ‘calibrate’ their eyes on what the missing person will look like on their screen at the selected altitude, camera gimbal angle, and the likely body position of the missing person.

The Drone SAR Altitude Guide will also generate guidance, based on their survey answers, that advises the drone pilot on whether these parameters are optimal or not, which is based on SkyBound Rescuer’s research into Johnson’s Criteria (a standard that determines the minimum number of pixels needed to make an accurate evaluation of an object), effective resolution, and SkyBound Rescuer’s trials into optimal flight parameters for drone searches.


Gemma Alcock, Founder & CEO of SkyBound Rescuer, says: “After years of passionate research into drone performance variables, it’s a big step to be launching the Drone SAR Altitude Guide together with DJI. We know that time is a critical factor in SAR operations, so complex decisions need to be made quickly but accurately. Our research has shown that altitude is one important reference point that, once optimised to be more accurate, will have a massively positive impact on SAR success stories. Everyone on the SkyBound Rescuer and DJI teams who have been working on this altitude guide are excited for Police and SAR drone pilots to start using it and saving thousands more lives.”


Wayne Baker, Director of Public Safety Integration at DJI, comments: “At DJI, we’re committed to developing features to enhance drone flight safety, as well as supporting pilots in safe and responsible drone use. When it comes to drones being deployed by emergency services, SkyBound Rescuer’s public safety research is unparalleled, so we’re thrilled to collaborate on this Drone SAR Altitude Guide and turn Gemma’s research into a tangible, lifesaving solution.”


For more information on the Drone SAR Altitude Guide, visit this DJI page

or contact Gemma Alcock, SkyBound Rescuer:



For more information on SkyBound Rescuer:


LinkedIn: @skyboundrescuer  |  Instagram: @skyboundrescuer

Twitter: @skyboundrescuer  |  Facebook: @SkyBoundRescuer



About SkyBound Rescuer and DJI

SkyBound Rescuer is a leading organisation of emergency managers that specialise in the use of drones for public safety, with an aim to optimise drone performance for Emergency Services through its research-driven approach to problem solving. The company is led by female founder, Gemma Alcock, an award-winning innovator and thought-leader in the use of drones for public safety.

DJI is a global leader in developing and manufacturing innovative drone and camera technology for commercial and recreational use.