UniSA Professor Anthony Finn pictured with A DJI Matrice 600 drone with a payload capable of emitting or receiving acoustic signals.
CREDIT: University of South Australia
For the first time, Australian researchers have reverse engineered the visual systems of hoverflies to detect drones’ acoustic signatures from almost four kilometres away.
Autonomous systems experts from the University of South Australia, Flinders University and defence company Midspar Systems say that trials using bio-inspired signal processing techniques show up to a 50 per cent better detection rate than existing methods.
The findings, which could help combat the growing global threat posed by IED-carrying drones, including in Ukraine, have been reported in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.
UniSA Professor of Autonomous Systems, Anthony Finn, says that insect vision systems have been mapped for some time now to improve camera-based detections, but this is the first time that bio-vision has been applied to acoustic data.
“Bio-vision processing has been shown to greatly increase the detection range of drones in both visual and infrared data. However, we have now shown we can pick up clear and crisp acoustic signatures of drones, including very small and quiet ones, using an algorithm based on the hoverfly’s visual system,” Prof Finn says.
The hoverfly’s superior visual and tracking skills have been successfully modelled to detect drones in busy, complex and obscure landscapes, both for civilian and military purposes.
“Unauthorised drones pose distinctive threats to airports, individuals and military bases. It is therefore becoming ever-more critical for us to be able to detect specific locations of drones at long distances, using techniques that can pick up even the weakest signals. Our trials using the hoverfly-based algorithms show we can now do this,” Prof Finn says.
Associate Professor in Autonomous Systems at Flinders University, Dr Russell Brinkworth, says the ability to both see and hear small drones at greater distances could be hugely beneficial for aviation regulators, safety authorities and the wider public seeking to monitor ever increasing numbers of autonomous aircraft in sensitive airspace.
“We’ve witnessed drones entering airspace where commercial airlines are landing and taking off in recent years, so developing the capacity to actually monitor small drones when they’re active near our airports or in our skies could be extremely beneficial towards improving safety.
“The impact of UAVs in modern warfare is also becoming evident during the war in Ukraine, so keeping on top of their location is actually in the national interest. Our research aims to extend the detection range considerably as the use of drones increases in the civilian and military space.”
Compared with traditional techniques, bio-inspired processing improved detection ranges by between 30 and 49 per cent, depending on the type of drone and the conditions.
Researchers look for specific patterns (narrowband) and/or general signals (broadband) to pick up drone acoustics at short to medium distances, but at longer distance the signal is weaker and both techniques struggle to achieve reliable results.
Similar conditions exist in the natural world. Dark lit regions are very noisy but insects such as the hoverfly have a very powerful visual system that can capture visual signals, researchers say.
“We worked under the assumption that the same processes which allow small visual targets to be seen amongst visual clutter could be redeployed to extract low volume acoustic signatures from drones buried in noise,” Dr Brinkworth says.
By converting acoustic signals into two-dimensional ’images’ (called spectrograms), researchers used the neural pathway of the hoverfly brain to improve and suppress unrelated signals and noise, increasing the detection range for the sounds they wanted to detect.
Using their image-processing skills and sensing expertise, the researchers made this bio-inspired acoustic data breakthrough thanks to Federal Government funding through the Department of Defence’s Next Generation Technologies Fund
The funding partly supports technological solutions to address the weaponisation of drones which are now among the deadliest weapons in modern warfare, killing or injuring more than 3000 enemy combatants in Afghanistan and being deployed in the current war in Ukraine.
Original Article: Hoverfly brains mapped to detect sound of distant drones
The Latest on: Drone detection
- Teledyne FLIR helps to keep airspace surrounding Swedish critical infrastructure free of droneson July 2, 2022 at 7:58 pm
Teledyne FLIR successfully completed an installation of a long-range drone detection system for a critical infrastructure site in Sweden. A smart sle ...
- MSU’s Raspet Flight Lab working with 911 Security to ensure safe drone use on campuson June 29, 2022 at 2:37 pm
In another proactive approach to campus safety, Mississippi State University’s Raspet Flight Research Laboratory is partnering with Dallas-based 911 Security to assist in monitoring drone activity on ...
- Airservices, Thales to begin drone surveillance trials at Sydney Airporton June 14, 2022 at 12:50 am
Airservices Australia has selected European aerospace company Thales to lead a new drone surveillance trial around Sydney Airport, to detect rogue drones - and their pilots.
- Airspace security takes the stage at IFSEC 2022on June 13, 2022 at 5:00 am
forcing municipalities and law enforcement agencies to adopt counter-drone measures. Existing technologies, like friend-or-foe detection, will be used to identify malicious drone usage without ...
- Worried About the Drone Invasion? NovoQuad Provides Anti-Drone Solutions.on June 13, 2022 at 12:50 am
WILMINGTON, Del., June 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- A drone, also named an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), is an unpiloted aircraft controlled by a drone flyer to perform specific missions and tasks.
- Worried About the Drone Invasion? NovoQuad Provides Anti-Drone Solutions.on June 13, 2022 at 12:05 am
It is worth noting that the ND-BU003 Basic Anti-Drone System, consisting of Detecting Unit (RF Detector) and Jamming Unit (Directional Jammer), has the characteristics of sufficient detection ...
- Zipline Announces New Drone Detection and Avoidance Systemon June 9, 2022 at 1:53 pm
This week, Zipline, a California-based automated logistics company that designs, manufactures, and operates drones to deliver vital medical products, announced its new Detection and Avoidance (DAA ...
- Dedrone Rolls Out Portable AI-Powered Drone Detection Uniton May 23, 2022 at 12:49 am
The startup boasts that the tower can be set up in under 30 minutes and has a detection range of 5km due to a multi-layered system with two cameras that can track numerous drones at once. Dedrone can ...
- Dedrone Rolls Out Portable AI-Powered Drone Detection Uniton May 23, 2022 at 12:17 am
The startup boasts that the tower can be set up in under 30 minutes and has a detection range of 5km due to a multi-layered system with two cameras that can track numerous drones at once.
- Drone Detection Optical Systems Market Share, Size, Industry Players,Revenue Value, Industry Expansion Strategies till 2027on May 13, 2022 at 2:15 am
The global Drone Detection Optical Systems Market held a market value of US$ 166.8 Million in 2020 and is forecasted to reach US$ 1,039.2 Million by the year 2027. The market is anticipated to ...
via Bing News
The Latest on: Drone detection
via Google News