In March 2019, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) held a drill codenamed “Towards Jerusalem 1,” near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
The IRGC flew about 50 “offensive and combat” drones in the Persian Gulf, including the Saegheh drone, supposedly based on the American RQ-170. According to sources here, the drone flew for about 1,000 kilometers between designated targets.
Now Israeli scientists are developing a system they believe will let them accurately locate the operator of hostile drones and neutralize him.
Researchers at Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva in southern Israel, Gera Weiss and Eliyahu Mashhadi, are using a realistic simulation environment to collect the path of the drone when flown from launch point and monitor it its flight path.
“We insert all the points along the flight path into a deep neural network that was trained to be able to predict the exact launch point and the location of the drone operator,” Mashhadi said.
Testing the model with the flight simulator, the team were able to locate and target the drone operator 78% of the time.
Today, counter-drone systems use radio frequency to locate the operators, while using electro-optical, radar and other sensors to track the drones.
“All the approaches that we are aware of for locating operators, not just the drones, use RF sensors”. Mashhadi explained that there are automatic and semi-automatic methods for locating the operators based on radio communications between the drone and its operator. “There are a number of problems with this approach.
Firstly, such methods are usually tailored to a specific brand of drones,” he said. “Furthermore, the radio signal can only be recorded near the drone. Crafting
Finally, there are ways for malicious drone designers to apply cryptography and electronic warfare techniques to make localization by analysis of radio signals very difficult.”