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Acoustic Detection of a Fixed-Wing UAV

Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL A1B 3X5, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 1 January 2018 / Published: 15 January 2018
PDF [4845 KB, uploaded 16 January 2018]


The following paper presents results obtained from experiments conducted to investigate the viability of acoustic sensing to form the basis of a non-cooperative aircraft collision avoidance system. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) fitted with two microphones was flown in the vicinity of another airborne UAV to determine the maximum distance at which the intruding aircraft could be detected. A two-dimensional analytical model to approximate the minimum detection distance required to facilitate an avoidance maneuver for a given spatial configuration is presented. A method to increase detection distances by exploiting the harmonic nature of acoustic signals generated by propeller-driven aircraft is also presented. The method significantly increases the detection distances compared to the commonly used incoherent spectral mean. It was found that a small gasoline-powered UAV could be detected at distances up to 678 m, which is more than double the minimum required to avoid a head-on collision. View Full-Text
Keywords: acoustic sensing; collision avoidance; signal enhancement; constant false alarm rate acoustic sensing; collision avoidance; signal enhancement; constant false alarm rate

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Harvey, B.; O’Young, S. Acoustic Detection of a Fixed-Wing UAV. Drones 2018, 2, 4.

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