Drone tracking refers to monitoring and locating unmanned drones or UAVs in real-time. As the use of drones becomes increasingly prevalent for various purposes, including intelligence gathering, military operations and homeland security, the need for effective drone tracking systems has grown. These systems ensure safety, security, and privacy protection in airspace management.
Drone Tracking & Direction Finding (DF) technology is crucial in tracking drones by helping determine the direction from which signals are emanating and where. This technology is particularly valuable when locating and tracking drones based on their radio frequency (RF) transmissions, which are essential for communication between the drone and its operator.
Along with the rising requirements for precise, pinpoint detection and identification, implementing DF systems as part of an integrated solution has become much more challenging as the spectrum gets increasingly congested.
Different Radars and Direction-Finding sensors utilize “Phase-Comparison” technology. The DF sensor comprises an array of antennas working in parallel with a 360° cover. According to the Phase (time) difference technique, the DF system calculates the direction from which the signal source arrives. Based on the differences between the strength of the signal measured among the different antennas in the array, the system accurately estimates the direction vector of the detected signal.
Netline’s drone tracking solution was developed specifically to suit today’s battlefield’s complex and dynamic conditions, especially for the wide spectrum of applications requiring anti-drone systems.
Netline’s DroneNet platform introduces an advanced Tracking & Localization segment compromised of a DF sensor, radio frequency (RF) filtering unit and signal Analysis. Along with the DroneNet’s Detection and Mitigation Segments, it provides a holistic solution to counter drones. The DF unit can also operate as a “standalone” system, interfacing with 3rd party systems, such as Anti-Aircraft Artillery Systems, and more.
Our Direction-Finding (DF) sensors continuously scan the spectrum, analyzing for spectral activity around a target at risk. Once the direction of a signal’s source is traced, it is transmitted by the DF sensor to the network C4I in a format containing the azimuth and elevation as measured relative to the DF sensor.
The number of deployed sensors and the deployment topology determine the accuracy of the estimated location. Whereas a single DF sensor measurement provides the drone’s direction, using measurements from a network of DF sensors (minimum of 2 sensors) deployed in different locations, can determine the 3D location of the drone.
The ability to precisely determine a drone’s location is crucial to any counter UAV solution and is available in different configurations. Providing situational awareness in real-time is particularly required when other armed systems are triggered by precise detection of the drone and accurate geolocation received in real-time. The DF Unit includes several deployment configurations for stationery, portable or rapid deployment applications.
Netline’s DroneNet product line is a holistic EW solution for counter-drone defence and is available in multiple configurations, systems and sub-systems alike.