SNR dependent drone classification using convolutional neural networks

Holly DALE, Chris Baker, Michail Antoniou, Mohammed Jahangir, George Atkinson, Stephen Harman

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Radar sensing offers a method of achieving 24-h all-weather drone surveillance, but in order to be maximally effective, systems need to be able to discriminate between birds and drones. This work examines drone-bird classification performance as a function of signal to noise ratio (SNR). Classification at low SNR values is necessary in order to classify drones with a small radar cross-section (RCS), as well as to facilitate reliable classification at longer ranges. To investigate the relationship between classification performance and SNR, Gaussian noise is added to an experimentally obtained dataset of radar spectrograms. Classification is performed by convolutional neural networks (CNNs). It is shown that for the data available classification accuracy drops with falling SNR, as might be expected for any given CNN. The degree to which performance degrades with reduced SNR is presented. It is further shown that simpler network architectures are more robust to noise. Finally, it is demonstrated that data augmentation can be used as a means of enhancing classification accuracy at lower SNR values. Bayesian optimisation is used to find the optimal augmentation hyperparameters and overall, classification accuracies of 92% are achieved at low SNR.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-33
JournalIET Radar, Sonar and Navigation
Issue number1
Early online date31 Jul 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and UK National Quantum Technology Hub in Sensing and Timing (EP/T001046/1) project.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. IET Radar, Sonar & Navigation published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of The Institution of Engineering and Technology.


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