Unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAV) have recently become affordable and easily accessible to a wider population. This resulted in UAVs or drones being increasingly used in different fields and for different purposes. UAVs are recognized by the military, and are actively used for example in border security surveillance activities. Civil and business use is even more diverse.
One of the most frequent cases is UAVs being used for recreational and professional photography and video production. UAVs’ entertainment potential even made it possible for racing drone competitions and tournaments to emerge. Parcel deliveries may soon be done by drones. In agriculture, at this very moment UAVs are used for crop tracking and even for treatments.
Inspection of railways, roads, electrical power lines and other infrastructure assets are also done by UAVs. In addition to these mentioned uses, there are many other UAV applications that increase the quality and safety of our lives. However, there is also technology abuse where UAVs can be used to violate privacy in the form of photographs or videos from above and over the obstacles (fences).
Another example of misuse is unauthorized entry into the airspace reserved for commercial aircraft. An UAV can completely stop the operation of the entire airport, as was the case in 2019, where Heathrow Airport was closed due to an unauthorized drone flight near the runway. A few days later, the incident was repeated at Gatwick Airport. It has also been scientifically and experimentally demonstrated that one drone can cause significant damage to a high-speed aircraft.
Many scientists are working on methods that can bring down drones by using different technologies such as: nets, EMP wave, RF jamming, or trained falcons. This is just a temporary solution until a malicious individual acquires a new drone and again violates rules and endangers security and privacy. Precise localization of objects in space is an active research area that encompasses different technologies, in the area of radio localization there are methods such as trilateration using signal strength or time of arrival.
The applicability of these methods in the location of drone facilities should be investigated, and it is the focus of this project. A system for fast localization of intruder UAV pilots helps with the enforcement of existing legal guidelines but also with the development of new one that are one of the results of this project. We plan on bringing a new architecture for connected systems (drones, Internet of Things) with an emphasis on simplicity, security and communication energy efficiency.
One of the results of this project is also the constellation of drones as a platform for scientific research. Using this platform, we plan od developing methods and algorithms for localization of RF signals in the space with emphasis on UAV control signals. During project realization we will apply proven practices and patterns in system design to ensure modularity and applicability in other scientific fields after the project is completed. In addition to scientific contributions in the form of models, algorithms, software and new protocols, this project has great potential in securing people, property and privacy.
The project methodology is based on a combination of research methods and techniques depending on the project phase and the focus of the work package. This project has a technical and social component which is a characteristic for information sciences. The project is divided into following work packages that deal with different aspects of drone use.
Analysis of Legal and Ethical Aspects.
Autonomous Aircraft Market Analysis.
Localization of the control signal source.
Drone constellation management and telemetry system.
Energy efficient communication.
Work packages 1, 2, 3, 5 are primarily implemented using literature review and analysis, and final reports. Work packages 3, 5 suggest new models, techniques and protocols. Work package 4 defines a new software model, and the main result of its activities is a set of applications for computers, drones, and mobile devices. During the development of software and protocols, we also define and carry out the experiment. At the end of the project, we are conducting a final experiment in which we test the efficiency of the entire system for localizing control signals of the pilot operating intruder drone using a drone constellation.
The main goal of the project is to develop a research platform consisting of a control center and a four drone constellation, then use that platform to localize the drone pilot.
Research legal and ethical state of the art, development of risk assessment methodology.
UAV energy efficient communication.
Create RF scanner unit for constellation UAV.
Telemetry and control system for UAV constellation management “UAV constellation control center (UCCC)”.
Signal source localization.
Development of mechanisms for autonomous, semi-autonomous or manual navigation of UAV constellation.
Measure performance of final constellation on localizing target UAV pilot.