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The abilities of the glider fly, capable of locating drones at distances of up to 2.5 miles (4.0 km), could serve for future defensive weaponry.
Analyzing the visual patterns of insects to detect intruders in the sky is not new, but Australian scientists are applying a new approach: using the same data to track sound tracks.
‘Biovision processing has been shown to greatly increase the detection range of drones in both visual and infrared data,’ explained Professor Anthony Finn, from the University of South Australia.
replicated by ZDNetthe academic argued that “we have now shown that we can capture clear and sharp acoustic signatures from drones, even the smallest and quietest, using an algorithm based on the glider’s visual system.”
Bioinspired signal processing techniques, say the researchers, show up to a 50% better detection rate than conventional methods.
Potential applications include military and defense uses. In other words, it could be used to interfere with the flight of unauthorized drones near airports, as well as to prevent potential threats against civilian and military targets.
“The hoverfly, which can hover over plants to collect nectar, was chosen for its superior visual and tracking abilities. Illuminated regions in the dark are visually very noisy, but insects like her can process and pick up visual cues with remarkable efficiency.
Even in noisy environments, the application of this processing technique implied a “substantial increase in detection capacity”. “It is therefore becoming increasingly important that we can detect the specific location of drones over long distances, using techniques that can pick up even the weakest signals,” Finn summarized.