The Global Security News: 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites): Eurasia Review: Locating A Shooter From The First Shot Via Cellphone

In the past several decades, militaries have worked hard to develop
technologies that simultaneously protect infantry soldiers’ hearing and
aid in battlefield communication. However, these advanced Tactical
Communication and Protective Systems, or TCAPS — earmuffs or earplugs
with built-in microphones allowing active hearing protection — don’t
help if a soldier takes them off to assess the location of incoming
gunfire.

Now a French researcher has developed a proof of concept that uses
the microphones in a TCAPS system to capture a shooter’s acoustic
information and transmit this to a soldier’s smartphone to display
shooter location in real time.

“At the beginning of an ambush, the most important thing for
soldiers is to know where the shooting is coming from so that they can
hide on the right side of a vehicle or at least aim in the right
direction — and they need this information very fast,” said Sébastien
Hengy, a combat acoustics researcher at the French-German Research
Institute of Saint-Louis (ISL).

Hengy will present his TCAPS-based shooter location research at the
177th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, which takes place
May 13-17, at the Galt House in Louisville, Kentucky.

TCAPS have four microphones: two outside the ear canal and two
inside it, underneath the hearing protection. In the French case, this
is an electronic filter that activates to block out loud noises, such as
when a soldier fires his or her own weapon.

Hengy’s shooter location technology uses the fact that most modern
combat weapons fire bullets at supersonic speeds, creating two acoustic
waves. The first is a supersonic shock wave (similar to that formed in
front of a jet at supersonic speeds) that travels in front of the bullet
and propagates outward in a cone shape. The explosion of the bullet in
the barrel creates a muzzle wave which radiates out spherically in all
directions.

“Our system uses the microphone underneath the hearing protection in
order to detect the shock and muzzle waves generated by supersonic
shots and record the time difference of arrival of the Mach wave between
the left and right ear. By combining the information sent by all the
TCAPS deployed on the field, this gives you the direction of arrival of
the waves and thus the direction in which the shooter is,” explained
Hengy.

This information is sent via Bluetooth or USB to a soldier’s
smartphone which uses a data fusion algorithm developed by Hengy to
calculate the shooter’s position.

“If it’s a smartphone with a good processor, the computation time to
get the complete trajectory is about half a second,” said Hengy, noting
that once a soldier begins returning fire, the location system
automatically turns off.

Soldiers in France’s Operation Sentinel domestic anti-terror force are already equipped with smartphones.

To date, Hengy has successfully demonstrated the system with
microphones mounted ear width apart (about 10 centimeters) in a field,
and is currently finessing the technology, including integrating head
orientation information from tiny compasses mounted in the hearing
protection.

Later this year they’ll begin tests with the system on an artificial
head and, if all goes well, deploy the technology as early as 2021. The
TCAPS technology is being developed in collaboration with French
company Cotral.

Eurasia Review

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