Acoustic Drone Detection

Manufacturers of acoustic drone detection technology and suppliers of acoustic detection systems for military and commercial counter-UAS applications
Overview Acoustic Drone Detection
By Mike Ball Last updated: November 7th, 2023

Acoustic drone detection technology uses arrays of microphones to pick up the noise emitted by UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) propellers and rotors in flight.

These acoustic systems can be deployed as part of a multilayered counter-UAS (unmanned aerial systems) solution that includes RF and other forms of detection technology as well as identification systems and kinetic and non-kinetic interception systems.

The acoustic signatures picked up by the microphones can be compared to a database of known signatures in order to identify the type of drone threat. Artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms may also be used to detect acoustic features and aid in classification. Multiple acoustic arrays spread over a wide area may be used to triangulate the position of drone threats.

Advantages of Acoustic Drone Detection Technology

Unlike RF detection solutions, acoustic detection systems can be used to detect both remotely controlled drones and autonomous UAVs. They are also passive devices, meaning that they don’t emit any signals or radiation making them less prone to detection by enemy forces. They also do not require any radio licenses to operate. Acoustic detection can also be used to pick up drone threats that do not appear on radar, providing an additional layer of security when used in conjunction with drone detection radar systems.

The Disadvantages of Acoustic Drone Detection Systems

When used on their own, acoustic detection systems are limited in range to a few hundred meters. They are also susceptible to interference from other sources of noise, and their effectiveness can be diminished by wind and ambient temperature.

Acoustic detectors may also struggle to identify multiple threats simultaneously, making them less effective against drone swarms.

Applications of Acoustic CUAS Technology

Acoustic UAV detection systems can be deployed for a wide range of CUAS use cases, these include military applications, such as protecting forward operating bases and command posts, and commercial uses which include protection against drones at airports, public events, government facilities, and critical infrastructure such as power stations.