Russia's RTI firm is developing new submillimeter radars that operate in terahertz frequency range capable of detecting tiny drones.
"The terahertz technology [featuring radio wave length below one millimeter] will be converted into a product within five years. These radars can detect small drones, and function in space," Pavel Laptayev, CEO of RTI, was quoted as saying by TASS on Wednesday.
When a "precise" beam from the radar strikes a small object, it helps to identify the object's shape, material, speed and trajectory.
Tiny drones are considered a serious threat because they can go unnoticed by conventional radars, especially when flying at low altitudes and low speed. The technology could help avert incidents like the drone attack against Saudi Arabia's Aramco oil fields in September 2019, that halved Riyadh's oil output from 9.8 million to 4.1 million barrels per day.
Laptayev admitted that RTI managed to achieve significant success in the terahertz range only in 2019. The RTI specialists are now working on radar software that would swiftly and effectively classify a target and relay this information to the operator.
"This task will take more time than creating a prototype, because it requires accumulating data and implementing machine learning methods," the CEO explained.