Understanding how deep learning is enhancing drone detection

Understanding how deep learning is enhancing drone detection

Sparked by innovations in processing power, deep learning and capabilities, the world of drone detection has seen great leaps in recent years.

Now, deep learning algorithms are powerful tools capable of supporting operators, assisting in unmanned traffic management, and unlocking pathways for more efficiency and productivity.

Read on to learn more about how deep learning processes are supporting drone detection and perimeter security, and what ongoing evolutions mean for operator workloads and capabilities.

What is deep learning in drone detection?

At its core, deep learning is a complex branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that involves using neural networks to learn from data, draw insights, and even determine an optimum solution. Trained on a set of data, ‘deep learning’ refers to the fact that algorithms have more than one hidden layer of functionality that exists between the input and output stages.

When correctly applied, these algorithms can empower a range of use cases – including providing personalised recommendations and recognising specific images and objects. Within the world of drone detection, experts are focusing on the best ways to take advantage of deep learning. Just some of the currently identified applications include:

  • Accurately detecting and identifying security risks
  • Assisting in Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) operations
  • Reducing operator workload

Accurately detecting and identifying security risks

Deep learning can be used to recognise the behaviour of drones to identify potential risks, and analyse – as well as classify – drones based on their specific characteristics. These parameters might include their shape and speed, flight pattern, and trajectory.

For transport hubs such as Heathrow Airport, behavioural analysis is used to identify the difference between bird movement, regular flights and logistics, and a drone flying with intent and speed towards its perimeters.

As there is a distinctive difference in the behaviour between these examples, deep learning-assisted tools can identify risks accordingly, and alert responders to their presence.

Assisting in Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) operations

Deep learning in drone detection is also being used to assist unmanned traffic management operations, supporting UAS systems operating both within visual line of sight, and beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS).

Deep learning tools can help provide UTM support through several functions, including:

  • Tracking the deviation of drones
  • Identifying drone trajectory and other behaviour outliers
  • Sending automated notifications to remote pilots
  • Providing guidance in the event of an emergency landing

On top of these scenarios, deep learning applications are supporting current security operators to secure perimeters.

How are deep learning tools benefitting operators?

With the continued advancements in AI and deep learning technology, we can expect to see even more sophisticated and accurate AI image analytics in the future. As well as providing unique capabilities, deep learning algorithms are supporting operators, boosting efficiency and productivity in the process.

Minimising required operator inputs

In the past, operators focused on monitoring secure perimeters were required to manually analyse images and video footage, which was a notoriously time-consuming, labour-intensive, and costly task. What’s more, this task needed to be completed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for complete security, with the capacity to identify and analyse one waveform at a time.

However, with advanced behavioural and image analysis tools now available, sites can minimise the amount of operator input required, enabling them to perform other tasks simultaneously without sacrificing the integrity of their security solutions.

What’s more, these algorithms can analyse hundreds of waveforms simultaneously, offering an exhaustive, reliable and fast overview.

When behavioural and image analysis tools do recognise a risk, operators can quickly verify and coordinate responses, taking advantage of the latest situational intelligence to quickly close the window of vulnerability.

Learn more: why is situational intelligence the key to creating safer spaces?

Reducing the risk of false alarms

Another way that AI image analytics reduces operator workload is by minimising the number of false alarms.

As operators have traditionally been required to operate monitoring devices manually, human error – among other factors – has resulted in false alarms disrupting ongoing regular operations.

However, with deep learning-supported analytics bringing an additional layer of security and analysis, systems can be trained to accurately recognise and classify a wide range of objects. This not only reduces disruption but makes operations more efficient than ever in the process.

Developing innovative tools to protect people, property, and planet

At OSL, we are dedicated to creating world-leading solutions that create safer spaces. Leading advanced research into BVLOS operations in complex environments, we provide the expertise, experience, and knowledge needed to seamlessly mitigate risk.

Learn more by visiting our full range of leading drone detection news, resources, and insights.