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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) / Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAV) for Public Safety Applications

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) have been used in military applications for a few years; however, the cost of these devices as well as the level of complexity for operation has caused the public safety community to be excluded. While existing commercialized components exist, affordable “turnkey” solutions are less available. Fortunately, the advances in technological research by engineering programs within universities have lowered the cost of these devices making it feasible for use by law enforcement and corrections professionals.

Working in partnership with Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah) and the University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida), the Justice and Safety Center (JSC) evaluated the applicability and potential benefit of current UAVs and MAVs for public safety applications. Although many universities purportedly conduct research in this area, two universities–BYU and UF–have consistently excelled in National Micro Aerial Vehicle Competitions during the past decade. These annual competitions assemble teams from several universities, which compete in the areas of surveillance, endurance, and technical paper development.

For more information on this project, contact Dr. Ryan Baggett at 859.622.8261 or at

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