San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said it was “hopeful” that the technology would be able to more accurately pinpoint an area on which to focus efforts.
It comes as the department said that fresh searches on higher ground for Sands were still not possible due to poor conditions.
Attempts to find the actor are approaching the end of their second week, after he was first reported missing in the Baldy Bowl area of the San Gabriel mountains in southern California on January 13.
On Wednesday, the sheriff’s department tweeted: “The search for Julian Sands continues by air only.
“The California Highway Patrol – Valley Division Air Ops from Auburn, California, is currently assisting us in the search using a Recco device.
“Recco technology can detect Recco reflective material, electronics, and in some cases, credit cards.
“We are hopeful our @CHP_HQ partners, Officers Hertzell & Calcutt, can pinpoint an area where we can focus our search efforts, and we thank them for their assistance.”
Infrared devices have also been used by authorities previously, but to no effect.
On Tuesday the force said “numerous” ground and air searches had previously taken place in lower areas, but no evidence of the actor’s location had been found, though a second hiker who had gone missing in the same area was found alive.
A spokesperson for the department told the PA news agency that although the ground searches for the second hiker had provided an opportunity for secondary sweeps, Sands had still not been located.
They added that further ground searches in areas of higher elevation were still not possible due to the conditions.
“The Sheriff’s Department is closing in on the second full week of the search for missing hiker, Julian Sands,” Tuesday’s online statement read.
“Numerous ground and air search efforts have taken place. As of this time, Mr. Sands has not been found and no evidence of his current location has been discovered.
“The search will continue, weather and ground conditions permitting.”
The statement added: “Regardless of precautions taken by hikers, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department highly recommends hikers avoid hazardous mountainous areas, such as Mt Baldy, at this time.”
It comes after Sands’ family praised the “heroic” efforts of Californian authorities conducting the search efforts.
In a statement, also shared by the sheriff’s department, his family said they were “deeply touched” by the support they had received in the days since his disappearance.
Sands was born in Yorkshire and moved to Los Angeles in 2020.
His breakout role came as the free-spirited George in the period drama A Room With A View, in which he starred opposite Helena Bonham Carter.
He later moved to the horror genre, featuring in films such as Warlock and Arachnophobia, as well as dramatic parts on television.
More recently he played the chief medical officer in the 2021 Jack Lowden and Peter Capaldi-led drama Benediction.
From 1984 to 1987 Sands was married to future Evening Standard and Today editor Sarah Sands, with whom he has a son. He also has two daughters with journalist Evgenia Citkowitz, whom he married in 1990.