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"The whole problem of energy sources is going to be solved by little solutions, not by some big new piece of technology that does everything. We got into this crisis by believing that we had one big piece of technology that would do everything (oil)."
- Gregory Benford

Weapon Sound Tracker  
  Locate an enemy by the sound of gunfire.  

U.S. soldiers still in Iraq a decade into the future have more advanced weapons systems.

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.
From Quantico, by Greg Bear.
Published by Vanguard in 2007
Additional resources -

In an interview with, Greg Bear had this to say about the weapon sound tracker:

    Technovelgy: You also wrote about a Weapon Sound Tracker.

    Greg Bear:"Yes, something that could filter through all the echoes and ... work its way back to where the sound originates."

    T: So this is an idea, or you've seen it?

    GB:" I haven't seen it, but I'm sure they're working on it."

    T: You might be interested to know that there is a technology called WeaponWatch which actually looks for infrared signatures of fired weapons.

    GB: "Yes, that make sense."

    T: I actually saw it demonstrated at NextFest 2006 in New York. Supposedly, this is better than listening for sound, because obviously light travels faster than sound and the company claims that it would be possible in some cases to return fire in some cases before the rounds actually got to you.

    GB: "Interesting... but they would have to have direct line-of-sight for the weapon?"

    T: That's mostly correct, but apparently they can look at reflected light...

    GB: "Very cool..."

    T: ...So to some extent, in an urban environment, you could 'see around corners'...

    (Read the rest of Greg Bear's interview on Quantico.)

Take a look at how WeaponWatch Detects, Locates Enemy Fire Infrared Signature.

One real-world technology that is similar to a Weapon Sound Tracker is ShotSpotter, a gunshot location system used both by police departments and the military. However, ShotSpotter requires a network of sensors (as opposed to a single unit) to identify, triangulate and then give a visual image of the location of a gunshot event, typically in seconds.

Also, WeaponWatch already uses an automated weapon system as a peripheral device, to coordinate return fire, sometimes before the enemy round has even reached its target.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Quantico
  More Ideas and Technology by Greg Bear
  Tech news articles related to Quantico
  Tech news articles related to works by Greg Bear

Weapon Sound Tracker-related news articles:
  - Helmet-Based Sniper Location System
  - Smartphone Sensor System Tracks Gunfire
  - Cities Detect Gunfire Acoustics With ShotSpotter
  - ShotSpotter Gunshot Location Tech Expands Coverage

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