Detection and Localization of Drones in MIMO CW Radar

Yazici A., BAYKAL B.

IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/taes.2023.3321586
  • Journal Name: IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Computer & Applied Sciences, INSPEC, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Airborne radar, Cyclostationary, deinterleaving, Doppler-only localization, Drone detection, Drones, Mathematical models, MIMO radar, Propellers, Radar, Radar cross-sections, Radar detection
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Low radar cross section and capability to fly at low speeds make drones challenging targets for radar detection. In the presence of ground moving targets the frequency spectrum is also crowded which makes the detection of the drones more difficult. Micro-Doppler effect is the main feature used to discriminate drone from other targets and clutter. Typically discrimination is performed after the detection of all the targets. Especially in target dense environments, such as cities, typical approach requires high processing power in order to detect and classify all of the targets. Coverage is also another problem of the typical monostatic radar based drone detection in cities. Coverage of monostatic radar is easily blocked by buildings. In order to cope with these problems distributed multi-input multi-output (MIMO) continuous wave (CW) radar using MIMO cyclic spectral density (CSD) analysis (MCSD) method is proposed in this paper. MCSD method detects and classifies drones using the cyclic frequency information. In order to make the system simple and low cost, a network of continuous wave radars is used and the localization is performed based on Doppler only localization approach. The simulations and experimental results demonstrate the proof of the concept. Performance and cost analyses of the MCSD method are also elaborated in the paper.