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New Radar System can Detect Subminiature Drones 3 km Away

On Tuesday, July 16th, 2019, DGIST announced that Senior Scientist Dae-gun Oh’s group in the Collaborative Robots Research Center created a radar system that can detect subminiature drones that are at a distance of 3 km.

(Image credit: DGIST)

This study is likely to make big contributions to reinforcing domestic industries and defense potentials by acquiring a world-class radar sensing technology.

Due to the invention of a North Korean drone in Paju in March 2014, South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense has adopted a drone-detection radar based on overseas technology. From 2018, the ministry has committed itself into developing a combat system using drones and training skilled personnel by creating a drone unit to strengthen its defense ability. The need for enemy surveillance inspection and the early detection of attacking drones has increased in Korea.

However, because of the lack of radar detection technology, South Korea is using several radar systems from abroad like drone-detection radars from RADA in Israel and Blighter in the United Kingdom. RADA particularly possesses an advanced radar technology performance that can spot drones that are at a distance of up to 3 km.

Since 2014, DGIST Senior researcher Daegun Oh’s group has constantly been working on R&D of a drone-detection radar system based on a super-resolution algorithm using Korean technology alone and created Korea’s first radar system that can spot drones 200 m away for the first time in 2016.

By continuous investigation, the group succeeded in producing a world-class radar system that can identify subminiature phantom drones flying in the sky for up to 3 km.

The team of scientists developed the drone-detection radar system to work between 12 and 18 GHz and applied super-resolution radar signal processing technology to detect drones precisely by applying an AESA radar technology to widen the maximum detection distance of radar.

Moreover, the radar system can find and detect drones more visibly in real time by incorporating drone cognition technology based on “GANs (Generative Adversarial Networks),” which has been gaining attention as next-generation deep learning algorithm.

It is to be noted that the hardware modules like the transmission, transmission antenna, receiving unit, receiving antenna, and signal processing platform within the radar detection system were created 100% together with Korean small and medium-sized companies, which can help develop high-added values of regional industries.

This research achievement is a result of cooperation with Korean companies to develop radar hardware and our focus on the development of a unique radar signal processing algorithm for detection, tracking, and identification of drones. We will strive harder to enhance the reputation of domestic radar technologies in the global market by changing the market spectrum led by overseas companies.

Senior Researcher Daegun Oh’s Team, DGIST Collaborative Robots Research Center

The team of scientists is presently discussing the problem of drone-detection radar technology transfer to Korean and overseas defense industries.

The AI radar identification technology in this research achievement was reported on the world-class radar journal IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters on June 18th, 2019. Furthermore, papers on the element technology of drone have also been reported in Microwave and Optical Technology Letters, IEEE Sensors, IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronics Systems, MDPI Sensors, etc.

This study was carried out in cooperation with senior scientist Daegun Oh’s research group at DGIST and Professor Youngwook Kim’s research team in the University of California, Unites States with the support of the Ministry of Science and ICT from 2017.


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