Acoustic detection of drones through real-time audio attribute prediction

Conference Paper

With the rise in popularity of drones, their use in anti-social activities has also proliferated. Nationwide police increasingly report the appearance of drones in unauthorized settings such as public gatherings and also in the delivery of contraband to prisons. Detection and classification of drones in such environments is very challenging from both visual and acoustic perspective. Visual detection of drones is challenging due to their small size. There may be cases where views are obstructed, lighting conditions are poor, the field of view is narrow, etc. In contrast, acoustic-based detection methods are omnidirectional, however, they are prone to errors due to possible noise in the signal. This paper presents a method of predicting the presence (detection and classification) of a drone using a single microphone and other inexpensive computational devices. A Support Vector Machine classified the spectral and temporal features of pre-segments generated using a sliding window for the audio signal. Additionally, spectral subtraction was used to reconstruct the magnitude spectrum of drone sounds to reduce false alarms. To increase the accuracy of predictions, an added confidence script is proposed based on a queue-and-dump approach to make the system more robust. The proposed system was tested in real time in a realistic environment with various drone models and flight characteristics. Performance is satisfactory in a quiet setting but the system generates excessive false alarms when exposed to lawn equipment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mandal, S; Chen, L; Alaparthy, V; Cummings, M

Published Date

  • January 1, 2020

Published In

  • Aiaa Scitech 2020 Forum

Volume / Issue

  • 1 PartF /

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 13

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9781624105951

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2514/6.2020-0491

Citation Source

  • Scopus