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Countering the Drone’s Threat by Radar – Technical Challenges and Perspectives


Hongbo Sun

Institute for Infocomm Research, A*STAR

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Nowadays the increasing use of remote-controlled mini drones has become a real threat to the air traffic management. They may be misused for criminal acts or even terrorist attacks, and pose serious threats for the public security. Thus, accurate detection and classification of mini drones are highly essential and critical. Comparing to other Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) sensors, radars show superior performance for their wide, long-range and rapid surveillance capabilities in all weather conditions, which are therefore widely adopted as an effective sensor to detect the drones. It is well known that the micro-Doppler generated by the drones’ rotating blades is the most prominent signature of drones different from other slow-moving objects such as birds, persons, and ground vehicles. Thus, micro-Doppler is popularly used for the drone detection and classification in many literatures. However, it should be noted that the behaviors of micro-Doppler of drones vary significantly for different radar operating modes. It may not be easy to capture the micro-Doppler signatures of drone in the real scenario using a ground-based surveillance radar. In this talk, the radar signal processing techniques for drone detection and classification are introduced, and the behaviors of micro-Doppler of drones for different radar operating modes are analyzed in details. The suitable radar-based solutions are proposed for countering the drone’s threat in different application scenarios.