Real-time drone intent monitoring could enable safer use of drones and prevent a repeat of 2018 Gatwick incident


16-09-2021
  Drone and city skyline  Credit: Goh Rhy Yan via Unsplash

Researchers have developed a real-time approach that can help prevent incidents like the large-scale disruption at London’s Gatwick Airport in 2018, where possible drone sightings at the perimeter of the airport caused the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, used a combination of statistical techniques and radar data to predict the flight path of a drone, and whether it intends to enter a restricted airspace, for instance around a civilian airport.  

Their solution could help prevent a repeat of the Gatwick incident, as it can spot any drones before they enter restricted airspace and can determine, early, if their future actions are likely to pose a threat to other aircraft.

This new predictive capability can enable automated decision-making and significantly reduce the workload on drone surveillance system operators by offering actionable information on potential threats to facilitate timely and proportionate responses.

Real radar data from live drone trials at several locations was used to validate the new approach. Some of the results were expected to be be reported yesterday (Weds) at the Sensor Signal Processing for Defence Conference in Edinburgh.

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Image: Drone and city skyline

Credit: Goh Rhy Yan via Unsplash

Reproduced courtesy of the University of Cambridge

 

The University of Cambridge is acknowledged as one of the world's leading higher education and research institutions. The University was instrumental in the formation of the Cambridge Network and its Vice- Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, is also the President of the Cambridge Network.

University of Cambridge (cam.ac.uk)