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Amateur Drone Monitoring: State-of-the-Art
Architectures, Key Enabling Technologies, and
Future Research Directions Zeeshan Kaleem and Mubashir Husain Rehmani, Senior Member, IEEE
The unmanned air-vehicle (UAV) or mini-drones equipped with sensors are becoming increasingly popular for various commercial, industrial, and public-safety applications. However, drones with uncontrolled deployment poses challenges for highly security-sensitive areas such as President house, nuclear plants, and commercial areas because they can be used unlawfully. In this article, to cope with security-sensitive challenges, we propose point-to-point and flying ad-hoc network (FANET) architectures to assist the efficient deployment of monitoring drones (MDr). To capture amateur drone (ADr), MDr must have the capability to efficiently and timely detect, track, jam, and hunt the ADr. We discuss the capabilities of the existing detection, tracking, localization, and routing schemes and also present the limitations in these schemes as further research challenges. Moreover, the future challenges related to co-channel interference, channel model design, and cooperative schemes are discussed. Our findings indicate that MDr deployment is necessary for caring of ADr, and intensive research and development is required to fill the gaps in the existing technologies.
Index Terms
Drone tracking, drone detection, flying ad-hoc network, monitoring drone architecture, interference management, public-safety, UAV.
T HE development of the mini-drones, officially called unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) have captured the attention of hobbyists and the investors [1]. Drones have endless commercial applications, due to their relatively small size and ability to fly without an on-board pilot such as in agriculture, photography, surveillance, and numerous public services as shown in Fig.1. With all these applications of drones one question becomes obvious: How we know that these drones are safe? Moreover, the number of media reports about incidents involving UAVs also increases with the increase in drone usage. For example, they have been used to bring smuggled goods into prisons, a drone hit power lines in Hollywood cutting off electricity for 600-700 customers, and White House reported security threats when a DJI Phantom II quadcopter crashed in its grounds. So, how to make sure these drones will not enter the No-Fly zone? and how to avoid collisions among drones? The other problem is what would happen if terrorists attempted to use amateur drone (ADr) for evil purposes? Moreover, if ADr drone is found in the No-Fly zone, then how can it be detected, tracked, localized, jammed, and hunted to stop its harmful consequence on the security-sensitive areas? In order to cope with these security threats, monitoring drones (MDr) deployment is required for surveillance, hunting, and jamming of the ADr. The main motivation of deploying MDr is to keep eye on the ADr which can lead to serious disasters in case no precautionary measures is taken on time. The most important aspect of MDr deployment is related to the MDr architecture because it should be self-configured in case of emergency situation without the help of the
central ground control station (GCS).
In this article, we propose MDr architectures for different security situations. For less security-sensitive areas point-to-point
architecture is proposed which has only one MDr to detect,track, and jam the ADr. Moreover, for highly security-sensitive areas, the flying ad-hoc network (FANET) architecture is proposed to intelligently estimate the situation and perform self-healing actions.
The increasingly usage of MDr poses challenges like robust and efficient detection, tracking, intruder localization, and jamming of ADr. The accuracy of detection is a basic requirement of the system. In general, the accurate detection is time- consuming. In fact, a precise moving object detection method makes tracking more reliable and faster, and supports correct classification, which is quite important for MDr detection to be successful.
Industrial aspects: To fulfill the demands discussed for amateur drone surveillance, industrialists are developing efficient detection, tracking, localization, and jamming solutions. For example, Dedrone has developed a cost effective technical solution by developing a DroneTracker and counter drone system. DroneTracker effectively protects the airspace by providing early- warning detection and alert after detecting drone in the space. It consists of arrays of sensors, high definition cameras, analysis
Z. Kaleem and M. H. Rehmani is with the Department of Electrical Engineering, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Wah, Pakistan e-mail:,

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