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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.
Beginning - Ambush - Thing - Soldiers - Shooting
"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 - Microphones - Hearing - Protection - Case
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...
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