Helmet-Based Sniper Location System

A network consisting of helmet-based smart nodes can provide a platoon of soldiers with a 3D map of enemy shooters. Wireless links between helmets coordinate acoustic gunshot signature information collected by helmet microphones.


(Breadboard sniper locator system on Kevlar helmet)

Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Albert Sciarretta, who assesses new military technologies in urban environments for DARPA, is one of the experts who is impressed by the ISIS system: “It’s strong points are that it isn’t limited to locating shots fired in direct line-of-sight, it can pick up multiple shooters at the same time, and it can identify the caliber and type of weapon that is being fired.”

When a high-powered rifle is fired, it produces two different kinds of sound waves. One is the “muzzle blast” that expands outward in a spherical wave from the muzzle. The second is a conical shock wave that is produced by the bullet as it travels at supersonic speeds. Each node of the shooter location system contains an array of four sensitive microphones. If at least three of the microphones in a single node detect the muzzle blast, the information allows the nodes’ microprocessor to calculate the direction that the sound came from. If the same array also detects the arrival time and angle of the bullet shockwave, a simple calculation gives the shooter’s location.

“Because the microphones on the helmet are so close together, the precision is not very high,” Ledeczi says. “However, the nodes are continuously exchanging the times and angles of arrival for these acoustic signals, along with their own locations and orientations. When two or more nodes detect the shot, they can provide the bearing with better than one degree accuracy. The range is typically within a few meters even from as far as 300 meters. The more sensors that pick up the shot, the more accurate the localization.”

The system can even identify the window from which a sniper is firing, even if the sniper is well inside the building at the time.


(Shooter localization system diagram)

In his excellent 2007 book Quantico, Greg Bear writes about a weapon sound tracker. Use the link below to read Bear's comments about his idea.

Sound trackers on the roof could zero in on weapons action and coordinate return fire through UAVs and their only other air support, the Superhawk.
(Read more about Bear's Weapon Sound Tracker)

A final advantage to the real-life helmet-based sniper location system is the cost. Other shooter location systems cost from $10K to $50K per unit and are quite bulky. The new system weighs just a bit more than the 4 AA batteries that power it and can be made for about $1K. From Vanderbilt University via Next Big Future.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/26/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Warfare ")

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.' - Neal Stephenson, 1995.

Russia Working On Military Exoskeletons
'...you look like a big steel gorilla...' - Robert Heinlein, 1959.

TALOS Exoskeleton Development Proceeding
'Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla...' - Robert Heinlein, 1959.

Britney Spears And Lynn Minmay - Weapons Of Choice
An attack can take many forms.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.'

Inspired By Japan, Nap Pods For Hajj
It's always a good time for a nap.

Amphibio 3D Printed Gill Shirt
'... we can descend and live down there at one of those year-round aquatic resorts.'

How Do You Put An Asteroid Into Earth Orbit? Carefully!
'...she would have to be coaxed by another series of pats into a circular orbit.'

PD Aerospace Space Plane By 2023
'The sleek, tapered space shuttle lay immobile upon the private landing field...'

Foldimate Folds Your Clothes Perfectly
Look ma, my room is clean! I can hear you now.

Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.

International Space Station Leak Plugged - With Finger
'These tag-alongs search out stray leaks.'

Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but still amazing.

IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...'

ZKZM-500 LASER Assault Rifle
'The Iranian reached back into the locker and got a pair of laserifles.'

LA Subway Scanner, As Seen In 'Total Recall'
'I'm afraid to tell you this Mr. Quaid, but you have suffered a schizoed embolism...'

Sion Electric Car Covered With Solar Panels
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.