A Novel Drone-based Search and Rescue System using Bluetooth Low Energy Technology


  • A. Hashmi Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


Drones are widely known for their mobility and ease of use and represent a significant technological breakthrough with various applications. In this paper, a novel inexpensive Search and Rescue (SAR)-based approach for application in indoor environments is presented. The usage of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) has been evaluated with respect to other technologies and a conceptual view of the complete setup has been presented. Besides the cost of the drone and the locator devices, the other hardware is relatively inexpensive costing only a fraction of a US dollar. The system is believed to cover a wide area in a small-time frame ranging a few minutes, for instance, a 3600m2 surface area could be scanned in less than 5 minutes. The system is tested by attaching a BLE device in the payload to evaluate the presence of target beacons. Potential upgrades in the system are also proposed, including design modifications for outdoor use and the application in locating missing objects. This system can confidently replace search parties dealing with missing children in public places or venues, with minimal human interaction while bearing the potential for complete automation.


BLE, wearable electronics, UAVs, localization


Download data is not yet available.


S. Maharana, "Commercial Drones," International Journal of Advances in Science Engineering and Technology, vol. 5, no. 1 Suppl. Is. 3, pp. 96-101, Mar. 2017.

D. Gonzalez-Aguilera and P. Rodriguez-Gonzalvez, "Editorial: Drones-An Open Access Journal," Drones, vol. 1, no. 1, Dec. 2017. https://doi.org/10.3390/drones1010001

Z. Liu, Z. Li, B. Liu, X. Fu, I. Raptis, and K. Ren, "Rise of Mini-Drones: Applications and Issues," in Proceedings of the 2015 Workshop on Privacy-Aware Mobile Computing, New York, NY, USA, Jun. 2015, pp. 7-12. https://doi.org/10.1145/2757302.2757303

M. Almutiry, "UAV Tomographic Synthetic Aperture Radar for Landmine Detection," Engineering, Technology & Applied Science Research, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 5933-5939, Aug. 2020. https://doi.org/10.48084/etasr.3611

G. Remy, S. M. Senouci, F. Jan, and Y. Gourhant, "SAR drones: drones for advanced search and rescue missions," Journées Nationales des Communications dans les Transports, vol. 1, pp. 1-3, 2013.

"Cost of missing tramper rescue operation $80,000 and counting," Stuff, Jul. 21, 2020. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/122198869/cost-of-missing-tramper-rescue-operation-80000-and-counting (accessed Mar. 24, 2021).

W. Stecz and K. Gromada, "UAV Mission Planning with SAR Application," Sensors, vol. 20, no. 4, Jan. 2020, Art. no. 1080. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20041080

S. A. Riggins and D. P. Sharp, "Missing child reporting, tracking and recovery method and system," US20100262367A1, Oct. 14, 2010.

"Drones for search & rescue missions," AltiGator Drone & UAV Technologies, Sep. 17, 2014. https://altigator.com/en/drones-for-search-rescue-missions/ (accessed Mar. 24, 2021).

D. Yavuz, H. Akbıyık, and E. Bostancı, "Intelligent drone navigation for search and rescue operations," in 2016 24th Signal Processing and Communication Application Conference (SIU), Zonguldak, Turkey, May 2016, pp. 565-568. https://doi.org/10.1109/SIU.2016.7495803

A. Albanese, V. Sciancalepore, and X. Costa-Perez, "SARDO: An Automated Search-and-Rescue Drone-based Solution for Victims Localization," IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1109/TMC.2021.3051273

F. R. Heukels, "Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) : towards an autonomous search and rescue aiding drone," M. S. thesis, University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands, 2015.

M. Półka, S. Ptak, and Ł. Kuziora, "The Use of UAV's for Search and Rescue Operations," Procedia Engineering, vol. 192, pp. 748-752, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeng.2017.06.129

A. Wang et al., "GuideLoc: UAV-Assisted Multitarget Localization System for Disaster Rescue," Mobile Information Systems, vol. 2017, Mar. 2017, Art. no. e1267608. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/1267608

A. Deleforge, D. D. Carlo, M. Strauss, R. Serizel, and L. Marcenaro, "Audio-Based Search and Rescue With a Drone: Highlights From the IEEE Signal Processing Cup 2019 Student Competition [SP Competitions]," IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, vol. 36, no. 5, pp. 138-144, Sep. 2019. https://doi.org/10.1109/MSP.2019.2924687

S. K. Khan, A. Al-Hourani, and K. G. Chavez, "Performance Evaluation of Amplify-and-Forward UAV Relay in Millimeter-Wave," in 2020 27th International Conference on Telecommunications (ICT), Bali, Indonesia, Oct. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICT49546.2020.9239435

S. K. Khan, M. Farasat, U. Naseem, and F. Ali, "Performance Evaluation of Next-Generation Wireless (5G) UAV Relay," Wireless Personal Communications, vol. 113, no. 2, pp. 945-960, Jul. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11277-020-07261-x

S. J. Danbatta and A. Varol, "Comparison of Zigbee, Z-Wave, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth Wireless Technologies Used in Home Automation," in 2019 7th International Symposium on Digital Forensics and Security (ISDFS), Barcelos, Portugal, Jun. 2019, pp. 1-5. https://doi.org/10.1109/ISDFS.2019.8757472

N. Chhabra, "Comparative Analysis of Different Wireless Technologies," International Journal of Scientific Research in Network Security and Communication, vol. 1, no. 5, pp. 13-17, Dec. 2013.

M. Siekkinen, M. Hiienkari, J. K. Nurminen, and J. Nieminen, "How low energy is bluetooth low energy? Comparative measurements with ZigBee/802.15.4," in 2012 IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference Workshops (WCNCW), Paris, France, Apr. 2012, pp. 232-237. https://doi.org/10.1109/WCNCW.2012.6215496

R. Heydon, Bluetooth Low Energy: The Developer's Handbook, 1st ed. Pearson, 2012.

C. Gomez, J. Oller, and J. Paradells, "Overview and Evaluation of Bluetooth Low Energy: An Emerging Low-Power Wireless Technology," Sensors, vol. 12, no. 9, pp. 11734-11753, Sep. 2012. https://doi.org/10.3390/s120911734

A. a. M. K. Abuelgasim and K. M. Yusof, "High Speed Mobility Management Performance in a Real LTE Scenario," Engineering, Technology & Applied Science Research, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 5175-5179, Feb. 2020. https://doi.org/10.48084/etasr.3245

"diyActive: Make a Raspberry Pi Hub," ReelyActive. https://reelyactive.github.io/make-a-pi-hub.html (accessed Mar. 24, 2021).

"Exhibition Halls," Dhahran Expo. https://www.dhahranexpo.com.sa/venue-facilities-exhibition-halls.aspx (accessed Mar. 24, 2021).

M. Liaq and Y. Byun, "Autonomous UAV Navigation Using Reinforcement Learning," International Journal of Machine Learning and Computing, vol. 9, no. 6, pp. 756-761, Dec. 2019. https://doi.org/10.18178/ijmlc.2019.9.6.869


How to Cite

A. Hashmi, “A Novel Drone-based Search and Rescue System using Bluetooth Low Energy Technology”, Eng. Technol. Appl. Sci. Res., vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 7018–7022, Apr. 2021.


Abstract Views: 376
PDF Downloads: 309

Metrics Information
Bookmark and Share

Most read articles by the same author(s)