Efficient Drone Hijacking Detection using Onboard Motion Sensors

Zhiwei Feng1, Nan Guan2, Mingsong Lv1, Weichen Liu3, Qingxu Deng1, Xue Liu4 and Wang Yi1,5
1Northeastern University, China
2Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
3Chongqing University, China
4McGill University, Canada
5Uppsala University, Sweden


The fast growth of civil drones raises significant security challenges. A legitimate drone may be hijacked by GPS spoofing for illegal activities, such as terrorist attacks. The target of this paper is to develop techniques to let drones detect whether they have been hijacked using onboard motion sensors (accelerometers and gyroscopes).
Ideally, the linear acceleration and angular velocity measured by motion sensors can be used to estimate the position of a drone, which can be compared with the position reported by GPS to detect whether the drone has been hijacked. However, the position estimation by motion sensors is very inaccurate due to the significant error accumulation over time. In this paper, we propose a novel method to detect hijacking based on motion sensors measurements and GPS, which overcomes the accumulative error problem. The computational complexity of our method is very low, and thus is suitable to be implemented in the micro-controllers of drones. Experiments with a quad-rotor drone are conducted to show the effectiveness of the proposed method.

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