The UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and Cambridge-based Plextek Consulting have highlighted a new capability to detect and track small and slow-moving unmanned air systems (UAS).

The new capability uses innovative radar technology and signal and image processing to detect different types of UAS including fixed-wing and quad-copter, according to Plextek Consulting.

The equipment was recently tested during a two-week sensor trail in Scotland which was organised by DSTL.

Advanced signal processing techniques, which can differentiate between the radar returns of moving objects like birds and small UAS, were demonstrated at the trials.

Following the DSTL trials, Plextek Consulting is now undertaking development of a solution that can combine the benefits of an electronically scanned radar with advanced signal and image processing.

Paul Martin, Chief Technology Officer at Plextek Consulting said: "Working with DSTL has been a great opportunity to prove and highlight the performance of our patented radar technology, with clear results revealing there is an innovative, cost-effective way to detect low-cost UAS."

"Once fully developed, this can be applied with both homeland defence and commercial domains, by the provision of local airspace monitoring and enhancement to the safety of UAS operation," he added.

With UAS use growing in both military and civilian sectors, technology to track potentially hazardous UAS is becoming a valued capability.

This article was first published on the Strategic Defence Intelligence website. For more information, please click here.