Key technologies and system trade-offs for detection and localization of amateur drones

Mohammad Mahdi Azari, Hazem Sallouha, Alessandro Chiumento, Sreeraj Rajendran, Evgenii Vinogradov, Sofie Pollin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


The use of amateur drones is expected to significantly increase over the upcoming years. However, regulations do not allow such drones to fly over all areas, in addition to typical altitude limitations. As a result, there is an urgent need for amateur drone surveillance solutions. These solutions should include means of accurate detection, classification, and localization of the unwanted drones in a no-fly zone. In this article, we give an overview of promising techniques for modulation classification and signal-strength-based localization of amateur drones by using surveillance drones. By introducing a generic altitude-dependent propagation model, we show how detection and localization performance depend on the altitude of surveillance drones. Particularly, our simulation results show a 25 dB reduction in the minimum detectable power or 10 times coverage enhancement of a surveillance drone by flying at the optimum altitude. Moreover, for a target no-fly zone, the location estimation error of an amateur drone can be remarkably reduced by optimizing the positions of the surveillance drones. Finally, we conclude the article with a general discussion about the future work and possible challenges in aerial surveillance systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-57
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE communications magazine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


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