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Would Radars Detect Drones?

There is a myth that small drones can ‘fly under the radar’ that is not entirely true. As technology has progressed in other areas, the military and aviation security companies have kept pace developing radar technology also.

Modern radar systems are capable of detecting small drones however the difficulty lies in differentiating a drone from a bird as the radar would also pick them up to. Human operators may be able to recognising the difference between a bird’s flight pattern and a drone’s flight pattern however at present the intelligent design of computer radar systems has difficulty making that conclusion. detecting small drones however the difficulty lies in differentiating a drone from a bird as the radar would also pick them up to. Human operators may be able to recognising the difference between a bird’s flight pattern and a drone’s flight pattern however at present the intelligent design of computer radar systems has difficulty making that conclusion.

There are other ways that a drone could also be detected such as video, sound, thermal, or radio detection. Each of these methods has its weaknesses and alone isn’t a reliable indicator. Like radar video feed has the limitations of mistaking drones for birds, even with a program designed to detect flight patterns. Some birds can glide long distances on the wind which would appear the same as a drones flight path would. Thermal detection would have limited effect also as recreational drones to have a lot of heat output.

Sound detection also has its limits as drones generally don’t make a loud sound and the sound they do make could be missed due to other sounds like traffic or the noise could be dissipated by strong winds.

Detection from radio signal is definitely possible as drones receive and produce signals to communicate with their controllers. Picking up these signals would be a way of identifying the presence of a drone unless the drone was somehow set to auto-pilot and had its radio output signals disabled.

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