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Detection of small UAS with W-band radar

: Caris, M.; Johannes, W.; Sieger, S.; Port, V.; Stanko, S.


Rohling, H. ; Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-:
18th International Radar Symposium, IRS 2017 : 28-30 June 2017, Prague
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE, 2017
ISBN: 978-3-7369-9343-3
ISBN: 978-1-5090-4312-5
International Radar Symposium (IRS) <18, 2017, Prague>
Fraunhofer FHR ()

The detection and defense of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) is becoming increasingly important for the protection of public and private areas. The low cost of micro- and mini-drones, the easy handling, and a considerable payload make them an excellent tool for unwanted surveillance or attacks. The platforms can be equipped with all kind of sensors or, in the worst case, with explosive devices. On the other hand, the size, material, and flight characteristics of these micro aerial vehicles is not advantageous for their detection with any kind of sensor. Therefore, great efforts are needed to ensure reliable detection, localization, tracking, and classification of the low, small, and slow systems. In this paper, we demonstrate that W-band radar is capable of detecting small drones in realistic scenarios, including 3D-localization. In addition, classification of a target is possible by means of Micro-Doppler analysis. As a matter of fact, improved information can be achieved when combining the radar with supplementary sensors, like electrooptical, infrared, and acoustical. However, in challenging scenarios, e.g. smoky, foggy, or loud environments, most sensors are overtaxed and the potential of radar can be fully exploited. Under certain conditions, radar would be the only applicable alternative for a dependable detection of UAS. FMCW-radar (Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave) in the millimeter wave regime is typically very compact, lightweight and requires only low power. Thus, it is easily deployable in various surveillance scenarios and safety applications. The range coverage of several hundred meters is, in the majority of cases, sufficient and the available update rates are far beyond the requirements of drone detection.