Nowadays, the technological and innovative capabilities of detecting/countering drones/UAVs are growing exponentially. In addition to radar detection, Passive Radio Frequency (RF) Technology is another efficient method to detect drones/UAVs.
Passive RF detection is a common technology adopted to effectively counter invading drones. Radio frequency sensors detect drones by “matching the invading drone’s communication protocol with known RF characteristic databases of drones”. Generally, the passive RF detection system could detect drones by scanning the commonly used frequency bands of drones.
Unlike active radio frequency system, which actively uses protocols to manipulate or try to “invade” drones, the RF sensor of passive RF detection system is usually “passive”, and no broadcast or transmitting signal is needed. This advantage allows the system to counter invading drones without interfering with the network or other communications in the combat area. Besides, radio frequency-based direction-finding capability equips the system with tracking function, as active radar does.
The key functions of passive RF detection system depend on the operating scenario and environment, and the following factors shall be considered when evaluating the radio frequency-based anti-drone solution.
- Large and updatable radio frequency signature database or detection engine, which could provide higher detection probability and decrease false alarm rate
- Ability to flag or filter out false alarms to optimize and improve performance over time
- Coverage optimization of azimuth and pitch angles for drone or drone detection
- RF direction-finding capability to find the directions of drone and its controller
Innovative solutions prove that Passive RF Technology is suitable to detect drones. For example, handheld, portable and vehicle-mounted anti-drone systems provide strong capability of detecting drones in mobile or field environment. ND-BU003, as a basic anti-drone system, is suitable for both fixed installation and vehicle-mounted mobile operation. ND-BD003, as a handheld and light-weight anti-drone system, could provide high motility and flexibility.
As the improvement of drones’ RF sensor performance, especially with the advent of LTE controlled drones, Passive RF Technology shall evolve to improve accuracy and efficiency, and better respond to the threats imposed by invading drones.
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