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SPECIAL REPORT

Vehicle Mounted Acoustic Multi-Mission Sensors

Vehicle Mounted Acoustic Multi-Mission Sensors Acoustic Gunshot Locators Save Lives Acoustic Sensors Power Situational Awareness The Value of Gunshot Locators Sensing the Future of Acoustic Applications and Gunshot Location Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media


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VEHICLE MOUNTED ACOUSTIC MULTI-MISSION SENSORS

SPECIAL REPORT

Vehicle Mounted Acoustic Multi-Mission Sensors

Contents Foreword 2 Mary Dub, Editor

Vehicle Mounted Acoustic Multi-Mission Sensors Vehicle Mounted Acoustic Multi-Mission Sensors

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Microflown AVISA

Acoustic Gunshot Locators Save Lives Acoustic Sensors Power Situational Awareness The Value of Gunshot Locators Sensing the Future of Acoustic Applications and Gunshot Location

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Editor Mary Dub Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies

Game Changing Acoustic Multi-Mission Sensor The Soldier’s Requirement for Vehicle Mounted Gunshot Localisation V-AMMS Performance V-AMMS Acoustic Umbrella V-AMMS Networked V-AMMS Graphical User Interface of Stand-Alone System V-AMMS Hardware and Customization Procedure per Vehicle V-AMMS on Heavy Armoured Vehicles

Acoustic Gunshot Locators Save Lives

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Mary Dub, Editor

Casualties of War…A Surgeon’s View Researchers Use Acoustics to Protect From Sniper Fire Using Algorithms to Clarify the Signal Parallel Research in Europe

Acoustic Sensors Power Situational Awareness

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Don McBarnet, Defence Technology Writer

The Value of Acoustic Sensing Techniques Classifying Gunfire New York City Police Department Adopts Shot Spotter Technology in 2015 The British Home Office Fund a Trial of Gunshot Locators in Birmingham, UK

For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

The Value of Gunshot Locators

The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated.

Former DARPA Requirements for the Development of Gunshot Locators

Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

Sensing the Future of Acoustic Applications and Gunshot Location

© 2015. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

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Mary Dub, International Security Writer

Uses for the Boomerang Gunshot Locator on Vehicles in Iraq on Convoy French Developed PILAR System

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Don McBarnet, Defence Technology Writer

Qinetiq’s Individual Soldier Gunshot Detector Vehicle Mounted Systems Mounted Gunshot Detectors on Helicopters Research Based Advances in Acoustic Sensors The Future of Acoustic Sensors for Underwater Detection

References 15

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VEHICLE MOUNTED ACOUSTIC MULTI-MISSION SENSORS

Foreword F

OR THE soldier on patrol and subject to

catalyst to develop acoustic gunshot locators in the

sniper fire or small arms fire, nothing is

United States and Europe for use by coalition and ISAF

more important than a gunshot locator. This is

forces. This is the topic of the second article.

particularly true in a surprise attack or ambush.

The third article looks at how the various applications

The accuracy of such a system enables the

of the acoustic technology have been developed

war fighter in a counter insurgency operation to

and applied with software and algorithms to work

respond appropriately and avoid collateral damage

around the various weaknesses in early iterations

that may undermine the whole campaign. Recent

of gunshot locators.

news events in Afghanistan have demonstrated the

The subject of the fourth piece is the various features

critical importance of knowing exactly from where

and applications of gunshot locators in many devices,

gunfire originated, to calibrate an appropriate and

which underlines their value to users in saving lives.

proportionate response. In the United States where

It also underscores their secondary role in civilian/

gun crime is at a high and sustained level, gunshot

security use, providing a deterrent effect on gun use

locators have a important value to first responders

in urban areas.

and police forces in reducing the response time to 911 calls.

The future, and all the uncertainty that that word brings, is the theme of the final piece. Sensors and

This Special Report opens with an article that looks at

their myriad technologies are increasingly essential to

vehicle-mounted multi-vision sensors and, in particular,

modern warfare. And the more risk adverse political

Microflown AVISA’s Acoustic Multi-Mission Sensor

elites become, the more essential surveillance and

(V-AMMS). This is the first and only acoustic sensor

remote unmanned sensor capabilities will become.

that, instead of using sound pressure, uses acoustic

There is a strong and diverse potential market for

particle velocity. Traditional microphone-based

acoustic sensors in the military market, because

systems did not perform well in Afghanistan which is

of their life saving capability. The research into the

why the Dutch Forces asked for and was provide with

acoustic technology that underpins so many acoustic

this reliable gunshot location system.

sensors continues to advance with strength.

Gunshot locators have had an increasingly important profile in military equipment since the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was the high levels of serious wounding by small arms and rifle fire that was the

Mary Dub Editor

Mary Dub has written about international security in the United States, Europe, Africa and the Middle East as a television broadcaster and journalist and has a Masters degree in War Studies from King’s College, London.

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VEHICLE MOUNTED ACOUSTIC MULTI-MISSION SENSORS

Vehicle Mounted Acoustic Multi-Mission Sensors

icroflown AVISA 3D Acoustic Situational Awareness

Microflown AVISA

New & Unique Gunshot Localisation Ÿ Reliable directional accuracy Ÿ Unique sensor with extremely low false alarm rate Ÿ Reports single shots, bursts and sniper rounds Ÿ Does not report outgoing fire Ÿ Stand-alone system for SAF

MARCH 20, 2015. DUTCH SPECIAL FORCES USING V-AMMS

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N MARCH 2015, one of the leading national newspapers in the Netherlands published an article on the Dutch Special Forces using the Vehicle mounted Acoustic Multi-Mission Sensor (V-AMMS), for a peacekeeping mission in Mali, with the Microflown Acoustic particle Velocity Sensor being the enabler and the game changer in acoustic gunshot localisation events. The most important requirement of the Dutch Special Forces was originally to obtain a reliable acoustic gunshot localisation system which would be working in practice. This is what they got! The accompanying picture revealed a black hemispherical bubble – Microflown AVISA’s V-AMMS.

Game Changing Acoustic Multi-Mission Sensor The game changer in acoustic situational awareness is the Microflown transducer, the first and only acoustic sensor that does not use the sound pressure but the other (twin) quantity in the acoustic domain – acoustic particle velocity. Microflown AVISA’s V-AMMS consists of: • a sensor unit with two Microflown sensors and a microphone • PCB stack for powering, signal conditioning and communication • Digital signal processing • a sheet metal housing • a wind cap

Ÿ Networked Multi-Threat Capability Due to the broad-band reach of the AMMS, the same hardware can be used to detect, localise, track and classify all sorts of audible battlefield threats, such as: • small arms fire (SAF) • rockets/artillery/mortars (RAM) • helicopters, drones and heavy ground vehicles The favourable SWaP features of an AMMS, are: • Size: 26.5 cm diameter • Weight: < 1,75 kg • Power: < 2 W Due to the unprecedented sensor technology and the SWaP features, it can be mounted an a range of areas and platforms, such as: • Ground/Border • Compound • Vehicle • UAV • Helicopter

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The Soldier’s Requirement for Vehicle Mounted Gunshot Localisation The traditional microphone based systems have a tendency to work only in controlled environments, while experience has shown that their performance in mission is not as stated in their specifications based on their experience in Afghanistan. The

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VEHICLE MOUNTED ACOUSTIC MULTI-MISSION SENSORS

The most important requirement of the Dutch Special Forces was originally to obtain a reliable acoustic gunshot localisation system which would be working in practice. This is what they got!

TYPICAL V-AMMS PERFORMANCE

systems only work when the microphone array is almost hit, when bullets pass within a limited distance. The experience from Afghanistan showed that traditional microphone based systems gave a high number of false alarms, and inaccurate and random directions, which resulted in giving acoustic systems a bad reputation. This was why the Dutch Forces requested a reliable gunshot localisation system. The Dutch Special Forces, which were the launching customer of the V-AMMS, defined simple but crucial requirements for their ideal gunshot localisation system: - Design a system that works in practice - Above all, make it reliable - Reduce false alarms close to zero -A  sector alert/direction is more important than the distance

V-AMMS Performance The stepping stone for the V-AMMS is the AMMS used as a ground based acoustic sensor. Obviously, the vehicle and other external sound sources generate all sorts of background noises that reduce the maximum performance as achievable

by an AMMS in a perfect quiet environment. Noise is generated by some of these sources: • Background noise from the vehicle: o Wheeled platform o Tracked platform • Impulsive background noise caused by the passengers: o Talking o Coughing o Door slams o Ammunition box rattling o Etc. The background noise of a vehicle can be mapped for all sorts of vehicles under two sorts of driving conditions with: • engine off to driving slow (up to 20 km/h) • driving between 20 km/h to 60 km/h In addition to background noise, the detection range of the V-AMMS is influenced by a number of other factors, such as the effectiveness of the calibre, the environment (urban, open, mountains) etc. The effect of some of these factors on V-AMMS performance is illustrated below, excluding environmental factors:

V-AMMS Acoustic Umbrella (quasi static) Traditional Acoustic System Sound Pressure Microphone Array

V-AMMS EXTENDED UMBRELLA

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Acoustic Multi-Mission Sensor Acoustic Vector Sensor Technology


VEHICLE MOUNTED ACOUSTIC MULTI-MISSION SENSORS

icroflown AVISA 3D Acoustic Situational Awareness

New & Unique Gunshot Localisation Ÿ Reliable directional accuracy Ÿ Unique sensor with extremely low false alarm rate Ÿ Reports single shots, bursts and sniper rounds

V-AMMS EXTENDED CPA COVERAGE

Ÿ Does not report outgoing fire

V-AMMS Acoustic Umbrella Traditional gunshot localisation systems typically only work when the incoming bullet almost hits the sensor (0 – 50m miss distance), whereas a V-AMMS locates the firing position of bullets passing at up to 500 metres, depending on where the shot is fired from. The benefit of such an extended acoustic umbrella is huge for: -D  ismounted soldiers, who do not need their own acoustic gunshot localisation device, saving weight and power. -P  roviding vehicle convoys with highly accurate acoustic awareness, even in complex ambush scenarios.

Ÿ Stand-alone system for SAF Ÿ Networked Multi-Threat Capability

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SHOCKWAVE OF BULLET TRIGGERS DIRECTIONAL

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PRE-WARNING / ALERT (RED)

V-AMMS Networked The same V-AMMS hardware used for gunshot localisation can also be used to locate Mortars, RPGs etc. By networking the V-AMMS it will provide the capability of handling even more complex situations and multiple threats at the same time.

V-AMMS Graphical User Interface of Stand-Alone System Microflown AVISA developed, for the launching customer, a simple and easily interpretable Graphical User Interface (GUI) which can be described in three steps. Firstly, when a vehicle equipped with a V-AMMS is taking fire, it will first of all register the supersonic shockwave of the bullet, which triggers a directional pre-warning/alert, as shown below. Secondly, the combination of the shockwave and the muzzle blast from the same shot provides an accurate location of the shooter, in terms of direction and range, relative to the vehicle at the

LOCATION OF THE SHOOTER (DIRECTION AND RANGE)

GUI MOUNTED IN OPEN MERCEDES BENZ G-CLASS

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VEHICLE MOUNTED ACOUSTIC MULTI-MISSION SENSORS

The experience from Afghanistan showed that traditional microphone based systems gave a high number of false alarms, and inaccurate and random directions

moment of shooting. In this example, the V-AMMS located a shooter from 12 o’clock, 429m away, shooting a burst of 3 shots and missed 75m to the left of the vehicle. The scripted text that is obtained can then be radioed or transferred to any BMS and/or RWS.

V-AMMS Hardware and Customization Procedure per Vehicle A stand-alone V-AMMS system consists of three parts - AMMS, including a customised mount - Vehicle Interconnection Box -T  ablet Display (only required in a standalone system) Customisation of the V-AMMS to a new vehicle platform is a straightforward procedure and can be split into four steps. Firstly, after adequate preparation and consultation, a number of suitable positions where the V-AMMS can potentially be placed on the vehicle will be tested, either simultaneously or sequentially. Under various driving conditions, the audio data corresponding to the noise of the vehicle and wind are recorded. Secondly, these data are mixed with the audio signals of Microflown AVISA’s “bullet library”, consisting of a rapidly increasing number of

BOXER & CV90 TEMPORARILY EQUIPPED WITH V-AMMS

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gunshots from various calibres, distances, and miss distances fired under numerous weather and terrain conditions. Rather than having a few shots being fired for the purpose of testing, the vehicle is virtually tested under a large variety of conditions. Thirdly, based on this simulation, Microflown AVISA is able to determine the best performing position of the V-AMMS on the vehicle and can thereafter manufacture a mount and complete the installation of the V-AMMS hardware, as shown above. Last but not least, if the customer requires that the V-AMMS be integrated with any electro optics and/or RWS, the system is capable of providing the relevant information.

V-AMMS on Heavy Armoured Vehicles Sponsored by the Dutch Forces, the V-AMMS technology is currently being tested on a number of other armoured vehicles such as the Bushmaster, Boxer, Fennek and Vector. Following testing on wheeled vehicles, Microflown AVISA is currently exploiting the opportunities on tracked vehicles. The steel tracked vehicles have been a major challenge for acoustics in general but with new innovative thinking, Microflown AVISA expects to solve this in the near future.


VEHICLE MOUNTED ACOUSTIC MULTI-MISSION SENSORS

Acoustic Gunshot Locators Save Lives

icroflown AVISA 3D Acoustic Situational Awareness

Mary Dub, Editor

New & Unique Gunshot Localisation

“We’re really trying to ensure that every Soldier is protected…How about, if you get shot at, not only do I know where that came from, but others know where it came from because I can network that capability. It’s about how to leverage technology to improve your survivability and situational awareness.” Brig. Gen. Peter Fuller, Program Executive Officer Soldier, US Army (2011)

Ÿ Reliable directional accuracy Ÿ Unique sensor with extremely low false alarm rate Ÿ Reports single shots, bursts and sniper rounds

I

N ANY military operation, but particularly a counter insurgency operation, knowing exactly where gunfire is coming from and therefore exactly, where or whether to return fire is critical. The results of misunderstanding where gunshots originated from can result in events like the erroneous bombing of the Medecins Sans Frontieres hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, in October 2015. More specifically, gunshot locators can protect every soldier from surprise attack or sniper fire, whether dismounted or in a vehicle. This technology is developing rapidly and the latest iterations offer greater rapidity and more accuracy and therefore added protection to soldiers on operation. Gunshot locators don’t just have a military value. They are meeting the needs of civilian security forces and first responders in the United States and Europe, where the use of hand guns and rifles has resulted in a rising tide of deaths that so eloquently pushed President Obama to anger after offering his sympathy to the grieving parents of school children killed in Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon in October 2015.1

Casualties of War… A Surgeon’s View Atul Gawande, a military surgeon in Iraq, and also a skilled communicator, wrote in 2004 about the nature of wounds suffered by casualties of the Iraq war. As of November 16, 2004, a total of 10,726 service members had suffered war injuries. Of these, 1361 died, 1004 of them killed in action; 5174 were wounded in action and could not return to duty; and 4191 were less severely wounded and returned to duty within 72 hours.2 But, and this is the

point, Gawande says aggravated assaults in Iraq, particularly with firearms, more than tripled (editor’s italics) during that period. The difference (in survival rates) appears to be our (the American military’s) trauma care system: mortality from gun assaults has fallen from 16 per cent in 1964 to 5 per cent today. Although significant improvements in trauma care by forward placement of surgeons in the area of operation had reduced lethality, the issue of gunshot wounds spurred on researchers at DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency) to use technology to protect soldiers in the line of fire.

Ÿ Does not report outgoing fire Ÿ Stand-alone system for SAF Ÿ Networked Multi-Threat Capability

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Researchers Use Acoustics to Protect From Sniper Fire For a soldier on patrol in Iraq, a sniper attack can seemingly come out of nowhere. The sniper detection systems in use by the U.S. military follow the supersonic trail of a bullet. “If you imagine a slow motion view of this, the bullet is racing ahead and the shockwave expands out like a cone behind the moving bullet,” said Rob Maher, an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Montana State University. Snipers and gunmen usually use rifles, such as the AK-47 assault rifle and its variants. When the gun is fired, the bullet’s supersonic passage creates a shockwave of air particles that are being pushed aside.3 DARPA responded with additional research to find an effective gunshot locator. In association with BBN, Boomerang was developed. It sought to overcome a number of difficulties according to Karen Wood, programme manager at DARPA. She said, “For the system to work on the move in an urban setting is incredibly challenging”.

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VEHICLE MOUNTED ACOUSTIC MULTI-MISSION SENSORS

Gunshot locators don’t just have a military value. They are meeting the needs of civilian security forces and first responders in the United States and Europe

ACOUSTIC MULTI-MISSION SENSOR

She explained that the system has to work while mounted on an extremely noisy, moving platform – such as a Humvee – all the while ignoring the outgoing fire of U.S. soldiers and marines. The system also has to deal with other complicating factors in urban environments, such as the sounds of gunshots reflecting off buildings, cars, and even garbage.4

Using Algorithms to Clarify the Signal One of the key technical problems to overcome was the number of false alarms. BBN now advertises its product as having just one false alarm per 1000 hours of use. Karen Wood added, “When I first got involved in project, a lot of people were saying that it [reflections of acoustic signatures] was not a solvable problem…but BBN had some very clever engineers and algorithm folk who did solve it.”

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Parallel Research in Europe While research for the US Army was taking place in the United States, parallel research was taking place in Europe. An acoustic particle velocity sensor was being developed to directly measure particle velocity instead of sound pressure, which is usually measured by a conventional microphone. Since its invention in 1994 the research has been used for measurement purposes (broadband 1D and 3D sound intensity measurement and acoustic impedance). As a scientific abstract published at that time points out, possible applications are near and far field sound source localization.5 These developments in acoustic particle vector sensors were then developed to produce sensors with applications on military vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and rotorcraft and on the dismounted soldier himself.


VEHICLE MOUNTED ACOUSTIC MULTI-MISSION SENSORS

Acoustic Sensors Power Situational Awareness

icroflown AVISA 3D Acoustic Situational Awareness

Don McBarnet, Defence Technology Writer

New & Unique Gunshot Localisation Ÿ Reliable directional accuracy

T

HE 21ST century has seen a revolution in sensor capabilities available for land vehicles, manned and unmanned aircraft and marine vessels. These advances have been built on technological progress applying a range of different technologies. It is commonly asserted that early gunshot locators were based on acoustics research and seismological techniques.6 Some early research demonstrated that gunshots could be monitored by observing the optical flash. This flash occurs when an explosive charge is ignited to propel a projectile from the chamber of a weapon. This means that optical flashes can be detected using optical and/or infrared sensing techniques. But there must be a line of sight from the sensor to the weapon, otherwise the flash will not be seen. Indirect flashes that bounce off nearby structures such as walls, trees, and rocks assist in exposing concealed or limited line-of-sight detections between the weapon and the sensor. Alternatively, the muzzle blast that occurs when an explosive charge is ignited to propel a projectile from the chamber of the weapon can be used. A typical muzzle blast generates an impulse sound wave with a sound pressure level (SPL) that ranges from 120 dB to 160 dB. The third option is the shockwave that occurs as a projectile moves through the air at supersonic speed.

The Value of Acoustic Sensing Techniques Gunshot location systems generally require one or more sensing methods. Currently only sound and visual or infrared light have successfully been used as sensing technologies. Both applications can be implemented to detect gunfire. The value of acoustic systems is their ability to sense at great distances, to sense in a non line-of-sight manner, and the relatively low bandwidth required for transmitting sensor telemetry data. Many gunshot locator systems used by law enforcement agencies, public safety and homeland security in the United States

have been based on acoustic techniques. But the disadvantage of acoustic techniques is that they may be a few seconds slower than optical sensing techniques. This is because they depend on sound waves, which travel more slowly.

Classifying Gunfire A key technical issue with gunshot locators is that they should have a low rate of false alarms. There have been several different approaches. The ShotSpotter uses a patented ‘spatial filter’ technique. Other systems use temporal pattern recognition that employs artificial neural networks that are trained and then listen for a sound signature in acoustic events. These neural networks can then be trained as “recognizers” of a target sound, like a gunshot, even in the presence of high noise. These systems have value for police departments and some military applications. A ShotSpotter system installed in Washington, DC has been successfully relied upon to locate gunfire in the area of coverage. The Washington, DC Police Department reported in 2008 that it had helped locate 62 victims of violent crime and aided in 9 arrests. In addition to assaults, the system detected a large amount of “random” gunfire. With random gunfire occurring up to 50 times a week in 2007, this is a useful sensing capability. Based on the system’s success, the police department decided to expand the program to cover nearly a quarter of the city.

Ÿ Unique sensor with extremely low false alarm rate Ÿ Reports single shots, bursts and sniper rounds Ÿ Does not report outgoing fire Ÿ Stand-alone system for SAF Ÿ Networked Multi-Threat Capability

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New York City Police Department Adopts Shot Spotter Technology in 2015 According to the blog reason.com, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner William Bratton announced the launch of ShotSpotter7 in March 2015. This is a network of sensors that can pinpoint the exact location of a gunshot, which will be deployed in several high crime areas in the Bronx and Brooklyn. Bratton declared, “This gunshot detection system is going to do a world of good in terms of going after the

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VEHICLE MOUNTED ACOUSTIC MULTI-MISSION SENSORS

The disadvantage of acoustic techniques is that they may be a few seconds slower than optical sensing techniques

UAV BASED ACOUSTIC TARGET ACQUISITION AND SENSE & AVOID PAYLOAD

bad guys.” Anecdotally, the ShotSpotter is said to have reduced 911 response time to gunshot reports from 60 minutes to 90 seconds. However, in some areas of the United States the use of recorded material brings civil liberties issues into play. TakePart.com quotes Jay Stanley of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project as saying, “We are always concerned about secondary uses of technology that is sold to us for some unobjectionable purpose and is then used for other purposes.”

The British Home Office Fund a Trial of Gunshot Locators in Birmingham, UK The BBC reported a similar trial of gunshot locators in the Lozells and Handsworth districts of Birmingham, UK. The system, funded by the Home Office through Birmingham Safer

Partnerships, records an audio clip and sends police a GPS location. A police officer trained to listen to the clips then makes a judgement on what they have heard before deploying officers. The system is said to have an 85% accuracy rate, according to Chief Supt Chris McKeogh. It can tell if multiple shots were fired, or if they were fired from a stationary or moving location, the number of weapons used and in which order they were fired, according to the manufacturers. The system has been introduced in more than 50 US cities since 1995. Chief Supt Chris McKeogh said that the sound waves a bullet produces have a particular signature and that they should be recognisable to force control room officers that have been trained up to listen. Shots, or a shot, being fired outside have the best chance (of being detected). Inside, or with a silencer, the ability is not so good, understandably.8

Other systems use temporal pattern recognition that employs artificial neural networks that are trained and then listen for a sound signature in acoustic events

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VEHICLE MOUNTED ACOUSTIC MULTI-MISSION SENSORS

The Value of Gunshot Locators

icroflown AVISA 3D Acoustic Situational Awareness

Mary Dub, International Security Writer

New & Unique Gunshot Localisation Ÿ Reliable directional accuracy

T

HERE CAN be no doubt that the urgency to research, develop and implement effective gunshot locators has been driven by the high numbers of ISAF and coalition soldiers killed and wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. The official drawdown of soldiers from these two conflicts, has not led to the end of conflict in these two countries. But it has meant that the demand for gunshot locators for soldiers on operation or their vehicles on operation in these countries has reduced. The consequences of ‘austerity’ on European military platform budgets, and the US Congressional demand to benefit from the ‘peace dividend’ of lower spending on defence acquisition in the United States are familiar tales. However, there are two strong sources of demand for sensors that are used in gunshot location. These are for sensors for platforms that are seen to offer low risk to the country employing them of being dragged in to a longer-term commitment to ‘boots on the ground’. These new ‘low risk’ platforms for risk-averse political elites are platforms like unmanned aerial vehicles, which are used to deliver situational awareness and are in some cases also armed. Both manned and unmanned helicopters are sometimes used by Special Forces. These may also benefit from upgraded gunshot locators. In the current conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, trainers, Special Forces and logistical support services and their vehicles will also benefit from gunshot locators. This type of market, however, is very different from the vigorous immediate demand from the United States and other coalition countries of the first decade of the 21st century.

Former DARPA Requirements for the Development of Gunshot Locators The requirements stipulated by DARPA during the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns still have relevance as a guide to gunshot locator capabilities. Shooter localization is required to be to plus or minus a 15-degree accuracy, and

within one second of the shot. Reliability for shot miss distances should be in the range of one to 30 metres. The locator should offer the capability to detect and localize fire from AK47s and other small arms at ranges from 50 to 150 metres. And, although gunshot locators were needed for Afghanistan, the critical test for gunshot locators came from working in an urban built environment. Here, reliable performance was sought in urban environments with low buildings. Other challenging capabilities were that they should be operable when mounted on a vehicle moving up to 60 miles per hour on either rough terrain or highways. Ruggedness is required, with an ability to withstand sand, pebbles, rain, and light foliage impacts. The method of delivery of gunshot alert information is also important. A voice announcement and an LED display are necessary. In the pursuit of ruggedness and field maintenance, it is useful for the microphone array and electronics box to be replaceable in the field.9 One of the criticisms of an early version was an excessively wordy warning system whose voice alert said “incoming” before giving the direction of the gunfire. Marines in the field thought that the extra word wasted time, even if only a second. Another version of the wording was for example, “Shot, 6 o’clock. Shot, 5 o’clock,” to alert troops that someone is firing from behind them. Later troops argued that they wanted just the direction of the shot, and right away. Another problem was that the Boomerang’s software sometimes had difficulty filtering out “celebratory” gunshots, which are typically fired into the air and are not threatening.10

Ÿ Unique sensor with extremely low false alarm rate Ÿ Reports single shots, bursts and sniper rounds Ÿ Does not report outgoing fire Ÿ Stand-alone system for SAF Ÿ Networked Multi-Threat Capability

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Uses for the Boomerang Gunshot Locator on Vehicles in Iraq on Convoy It is envisaged that the Boomerang would be used in two ways: for support troops in convoy that come under attack, it will provide warning time to escape ambushes once the first shot is fired. Capt. Steve Philipp and his team at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory Philipp said that, from their research, it was clear that using

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VEHICLE MOUNTED ACOUSTIC MULTI-MISSION SENSORS

In Iraq, insurgents often attack U.S. forces with AK-47 rifles, Russianmade weapons that are not precise when fired from a distance

PERCH AND LISTEN ACOUSTIC MULTI-MISSION SENSOR

this device, combat forces, could “stay and fight.” The big advantage that sniper-detection systems can bring, DARPA’s Dr Karen Wood said, was time. In Iraq, insurgents often attack U.S. forces with AK-47 rifles, Russian-made weapons that are not precise when fired from a distance. Because AK shooters will often “walk their fire” toward the target with a series of rifle bursts, being alert to the first shots would give U.S. troops a huge advantage, she said.

French Developed PILAR System While the US Army and Marine corps use American manufactured products, there is no doubt that the French PILAR system manufactured by 01dB-Metravib holds a strong place in the global market. Manufactured

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in Europe it offers a stand-alone or vehicle mounted gunshot detection system. The manufacturers list the capabilities as 360° surveillance, easy to mount on all vehicles, and mobile with GPS. It is discriminating and can ignore the noise of the vehicle on which it is mounted. The manufacturers offer a reaction time of less than a second and slew-to-cue capabilities. It has an intuitive GUI, Graphic User Interface, which offers two views, one urban, one rural. Its detection capability can offer information on supersonic and subsonic projectiles from small and medium calibre arms. It can discriminate between single and multiple shots. A strong competitor in the field, it is said that it was trialled and not ordered by the United States Army on the grounds of unit cost.


VEHICLE MOUNTED ACOUSTIC MULTI-MISSION SENSORS

Sensing the Future of Acoustic Applications and Gunshot Location

icroflown AVISA 3D Acoustic Situational Awareness

New & Unique Gunshot Localisation

Don McBarnet, Defence Technology Writer

Ÿ Reliable directional accuracy

S

ENSORS AND their various technologies are a fast moving and rapidly changing research field. Trying to divine the future in what is a technology in the process of disruptive change is a high-risk task. First, a snapshot of where gunshot locators are now: there are vehicle mounted systems that can operate with various degrees of accuracy, mounted on moving land based vehicles, unmanned aircraft, manned and unmanned rotorcraft and small products for individual soldiers, dismounted or in a vehicle. Dismounted soldiers use the very smallest and lightest products. Products like Boomerang Warrior-X made by Raytheon, which weigh just 12 ounces. The Warrior-X gives individual soldiers immediate awareness of hostile fire locations and, when integrated, can also provide unit leaders with shooter grid coordinates to enhance situational awareness needed to coordinate team responses to hostile fire. Incoming shot announcements are transmitted to a built-in speaker or an earpiece while a lightweight display provides range and azimuth of the shooter position. As the soldier moves, the system compensates for the soldier’s motion and continually updates the threat’s location on the wrist display.

Qinetiq’s Individual Soldier Gunshot Detector QinetiQ’s product for the individual American solider is about the size of a deck of cards. It consists of four small acoustic sensors worn by the individual Soldier and a small display screen attached to body armour. It detects the supersonic sound waves generated by enemy gunfire and instantaneously alerts the wearer to the location and distance of the hostile fire. “When you get fired on, instead of trying to figure everything out, you will have technology to assist you in knowing what happened and where the shot was coming from,” according to Brig. Gen. Peter Fuller, Program Executive Officer Soldier.

Ÿ Unique sensor with extremely low false alarm rate

Vehicle Mounted Systems Vehicle mounted systems available in the United States and to ‘approved’ US domestic and foreign organisations include systems like Boomerang 111. The particular quality of this Raytheon system is that its mast-mounted compact array of microphones, whether vehicle mounted or in a fixed position, can detect small arms fire travelling toward it, and bullets passing within approximately 30 metres, even when shooters are firing from maximum effective weapons ranges. Its software is discriminating and when vehicle mounted, Boomerang operates whether the vehicle is moving or stationary. Nonballistic events, such as road bumps, door slams, wind noise, tactical radio transmissions, vehicle traffic, firecrackers and urban activity do not cause false alarms. The system also does not alert when shots are fired from the vehicle or the protected site.

Ÿ Reports single shots, bursts and sniper rounds Ÿ Does not report outgoing fire Ÿ Stand-alone system for SAF Ÿ Networked Multi-Threat Capability

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Mounted Gunshot Detectors on Helicopters Boomerang Air uses an array of microphone sensors distributed throughout and integrated into the helicopter body. It detects small arms fire traveling toward the helicopter even when shooters are firing from maximum effective weapons ranges. False alarms caused by non-ballistic events such as wind noise, Blade Vortex Interaction, tactical radio transmissions, outgoing fire, and other extraneous noise events are minimal. Shooter locations are provided to the aircrew through audio warnings and graphical displays. Alerts can be integrated into situation awareness display units, such as heads-up displays and voice intercom systems. Other European systems can also be mounted on aircraft both manned and unmanned.

Research Based Advances in Acoustic Sensors The field of acoustical research on which sensors are based is not standing still. In 2015 the

www.microflown-avisa.com

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VEHICLE MOUNTED ACOUSTIC MULTI-MISSION SENSORS

The researchers envision that devices exploiting nonreciprocal wave phenomena may lead to new solutions to existing problems in a variety of acoustics-related fields

AMMS

Acoustical Society of America published the recent progress in the emerging field of nonreciprocal acoustics.11 To summarise, nonreciprocal devices that break the symmetry of sound transmission between two points in space have been recently demonstrated using various approaches. Such systems let sound propagate in one direction and completely block any transmission in the reverse direction, violating one of the most basic principles of acoustics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Rayleigh reciprocity. This opens exciting new directions in acoustics research breaking reciprocity and provides a new vision on the future in this research area. There are promising applications of these devices and their potential to fundamentally alter the existing wave propagation paradigm in acoustics, offering unprecedented control over sound transmission. The researchers envision that devices exploiting nonreciprocal wave phenomena may lead to new solutions to existing problems in a variety of acoustics-related fields, including energy concentration and harvesting, communications and imaging systems, signal processing, and even thermal management. Nonlinear systems that achieve highly nonreciprocal response are relevant for high-power routing and manipulation of sound, such as the protection of systems from incident acoustic power beyond a given threshold. According to the researchers, linear systems that break non reciprocity are relevant in different scenarios, such as signal manipulation

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and processing, and hold significant promise in underwater acoustic communication systems and sonic and ultrasonic imaging devices.

The Future of Acoustic Sensors for Underwater Detection Acoustic particle velocity monitoring is a potentially and increasingly useful field for submarine/naval uses. Directional underwater sensors have two appealing capabilities; the ability to selectively reject noise emitted from discrete interfering noise sources and the ability to localize, track, and range targets using suitable signal processing algorithms. Specifically, â&#x20AC;&#x153;acoustic vector sensorsâ&#x20AC;? are directional underwater sensors that measure acoustic pressure as well as the acoustic particle velocity to estimate the acoustic intensity. The acoustic intensity, which is a vector quantity, represents the magnitude and direction of the active or propagating part of an acoustic field thus indicating the DOA (Direction of arrival) of a received signal. Hence, a single vector sensor is capable of localizing a sound source and implementation of robust hardware and associated signal processing algorithms can provide valuable gains in comparison to traditionally used omni-directional pressure sensor arrays12. This is one example of the vigour of academic study in this area and the potential new application of acoustic science with military applications.


VEHICLE MOUNTED ACOUSTIC MULTI-MISSION SENSORS

References: 1

Obama Condemns ‘Routine’ of Mass Shootings, Says U.S. Has Become Numb

By GARDINER HARRIS and MICHAEL D. SHEAROCT. 1, 2015

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/02/us/obama-oregon-shooting-umpqua-community-college-gun-control.html?_r=0 2

Casualties of War — Military Care for the Wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan

Atul Gawande, M.D., M.P.H. New England Journal of Medicicne 2004; 351:2471-2475December 9, 2004

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp048317 3

https://web.archive.org/web/20070305205000/http://scienceline.org/2007/01/29/tech-hsu-guns/

Researchers use acoustics to help soldiers better defend themselves from sniper fire.

By Jeremy Hsu, posted January 29th, 2007.

4

http://www.livescience.com/1334-military-tracks-speeding-bullets-source.html

Researchers use acoustics to help soldiers better defend themselves from sniper fire.

By Jeremy Hsu, posted January 29th, 2007.

5

THE MICROFLOWN: AN ACOUSTIC PARTICLE VELOCITY SENSOR Hans-Elias de Bree Microflown AVISA Einstelnstraat 7, 6900 AH Zevenalit NETHERLANDS http://www.acoustics.asn.au/journal/2003/2003_31_3_Bree.pdf

6

Wikipedia

7

https://reason.com/blog/2015/03/24/nypds-gunshot-detectors-record-more-than NYPD’s New Gunshot Detectors Record More Than Just

Gunshots ShotSpotter has successfully reduced police response time to crimes, but has little oversight in New York City.

Anthony L. Fisher|Mar. 24, 2015 3:00 pm

8

9

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-11950517 US-style gunshot sensors installed in Birmingham, 9 December 2010
 From the section 
Birmingham & Black Country

Electronic ears on alert for enemy gunshots By Dave Moniz, USA TODAY, QUANTICO, Va. — Riding inside heavily armoured Humvees, U.S. troops in Iraq have a problem that goes beyond the threats of roadside bombs and rocket-propelled grenades. It’s noise. http://en.inforapid.org/index.php?search=Boomerang%20(countermeasure)

10

Electronic ears on alert for enemy gunshots By Dave Moniz, USA TODAY, QUANTICO, Va. — Riding inside heavily armoured Humvees, U.S. troops in Iraq have a problem that goes beyond the threats of roadside bombs and rocket-propelled grenades. It’s noise. http://en.inforapid.org/index.php?search=Boomerang%20(countermeasure)

11

Romain Fleury, Michael R. Haberman, Andrea Alù Acoustics Today | Summer 2015 volume 11, issue 3 2015 Acoustical Society of America. http://acousticstoday.org/nonreciprocal-acoustics-romain-fleury-dimitrios-sounas-michael-r-haberman-and-andrea-alu/

12

Agarwal, A. ; INS Valsura, Jamnagar, India ; Kumar, A. ; Aggarwal, M. ; Bahl, R. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=5664181&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D5664181

Ocean Electronics (SYMPOL), 2009 International Symposium on

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Defence Industry Report – Vehicle Mounted Acoustic Multi Mission Sensors – Microflown Technologies  

Defence Industry – Special Report Vehicle Mounted Acoustic Multi-Mission Sessors

Defence Industry Report – Vehicle Mounted Acoustic Multi Mission Sensors – Microflown Technologies  

Defence Industry – Special Report Vehicle Mounted Acoustic Multi-Mission Sessors