Siberia | Transport, logistics | Technology & innovation

With Siberian solution, drones may become part of city skyline

12 Oct '15
A project pushed by scientists at the Tomsk State University of Control Systems and Radio Electronics (TUSUR) in Siberia is expected to help develop improved radar systems to guide drones in their flights over cities at low altitudes, the TUSUR website announced.

Their new solution is a way of upgrading the characteristics of passive radars and extending operation range for existing radar systems, the university emphasized.

Drone flight control is a pressing problem to be solved asap as drones are being increasingly employed for cargo delivery, Earth sounding, agricultural purposes, etc. By 2020, the Russian government is considering opening its air for drones.

To monitor drone operations in a city environment, passive radars are required, the scientists explained, which detect and track objects by processing reflections from such sources of illumination as commercial broadcast and ground-based or mobile communications signals. Theres a problem here, as a meaningful signal has to be identified in a bevy of signals, including parasites. Meaningful signals can be very weak, especially if reflected from an object to be located which is a few dozen kilometers away from the receiver. Noise, on the contrary, could be a hundred thousand times stronger, usually suppressing meaningful signals.

The new TUSUR solution is meant to improve such radars with its active compensation system for continuous transmission radars. The principles used in the technology are similar to ones employed in the development of advanced fifth generation (5G) telecom systems, TUSUR said.

It is expected that the compensation system the TUSUR researchers have come up with will help reduce the power of noise by more than 800 times (down to 30dB). According to TUSUR, theory has been corroborated in a series of tests the developers conducted using an experimental compensation device.

The Siberian university is also working on software for drones in an effort to ensure 100% automation of their flights.
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