The growing number of civil applications in which Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are involved can create many concerns for airspace security and surveillance. Gathering as much information as possible about a drone can be crucial to apply proper countermeasures if a potentially dangerous situation is detected. Of course, the presence of a UAV can be detected by radar, but it is possible to extend the system capabilities to obtain additional information. For example, in the case in which the UAV is equipped with propellers, the radar-measured rotational speed could be important information to classify the type of UAV or to reveal if it is carrying some possibly harmful payload. In addition, the rotational speed measured through radar could be used for different purposes, such as to detect a drone manumission, to estimate its maximum payload, or for predictive maintenance of the drone. Measuring the propellers’ rotational speed with radar systems is a critical task, as the Doppler generated by the rotation can be very high, and it is very difficult to find commercial radar systems in the market able to handle such a high Doppler. Another problem is caused by the typically very small Radar Cross-Section (RCS) of the propellers, which makes their detection even more difficult. In the literature, common detection techniques are based on the measurement of the Doppler effect produced by the propellers to derive their rotational speed, but due to the very limited capabilities of commercial sensors, this approach can be applied only at very low values of the rotational speed. In this work, a different approach based on a Frequency-Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) radar is proposed, which exploits the vibration of the UAV generated by the rotation of the propellers. The phenomenon and how the sensor can detect it will be presented, which is joined with a performance analysis comparing different estimation techniques for the indirect measurement of the propellers’ speed to evaluate the potential benefits of the proposed approach.

UAV Propeller Rotational Speed Measurement through FMCW Radars † / Ciattaglia, G.; Iadarola, G.; Senigagliesi, L.; Spinsante, S.; Gambi, E.. - In: REMOTE SENSING. - ISSN 2072-4292. - ELETTRONICO. - 15:1(2023). [10.3390/rs15010270]

UAV Propeller Rotational Speed Measurement through FMCW Radars †

Ciattaglia G.
;
Iadarola G.;Senigagliesi L.;Spinsante S.;Gambi E.
2023-01-01

Abstract

The growing number of civil applications in which Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are involved can create many concerns for airspace security and surveillance. Gathering as much information as possible about a drone can be crucial to apply proper countermeasures if a potentially dangerous situation is detected. Of course, the presence of a UAV can be detected by radar, but it is possible to extend the system capabilities to obtain additional information. For example, in the case in which the UAV is equipped with propellers, the radar-measured rotational speed could be important information to classify the type of UAV or to reveal if it is carrying some possibly harmful payload. In addition, the rotational speed measured through radar could be used for different purposes, such as to detect a drone manumission, to estimate its maximum payload, or for predictive maintenance of the drone. Measuring the propellers’ rotational speed with radar systems is a critical task, as the Doppler generated by the rotation can be very high, and it is very difficult to find commercial radar systems in the market able to handle such a high Doppler. Another problem is caused by the typically very small Radar Cross-Section (RCS) of the propellers, which makes their detection even more difficult. In the literature, common detection techniques are based on the measurement of the Doppler effect produced by the propellers to derive their rotational speed, but due to the very limited capabilities of commercial sensors, this approach can be applied only at very low values of the rotational speed. In this work, a different approach based on a Frequency-Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) radar is proposed, which exploits the vibration of the UAV generated by the rotation of the propellers. The phenomenon and how the sensor can detect it will be presented, which is joined with a performance analysis comparing different estimation techniques for the indirect measurement of the propellers’ speed to evaluate the potential benefits of the proposed approach.
2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11566/309948
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