Military Electronics

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Military Electronics
Sound Ranging

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Military Electronics

Sound Ranging makes a comeback - Gunshot sound detection with an array of microphones is in use by military today.  Sound ranging with ears and stop watches was once used by Napoleon's Army.  Then observers had to be placed far apart so that the time between cannon firing stop watch recording would be relatively large. It is the difference ( Delta ) in time that it takes sound to reach different listening points that must be recorded. The Deltas can be used to mathematically determine the origin of the shot.  Error will be proportional to recording time error divided by delta. Obviously, microphones connected by wires to oscilloscopes would have made sound ranging much more accurate.  Sound ranging was used a great deal in World War 1.  Ground Radar made sound ranging obsolete for artillery detection.  Sound Ranging for small arms fire was considered impractical because of the large number of shots and reflected sound wave present on a modern battlefield. ( I read this in 1965, don't remember source)

Today Sound ranging is making a comeback.  At the links below, notice how close the microphones are.  Than look at the sound wave links and try to imagine what new technologies made the revival of sound ranging viable. Consider such things as signal processing, computers, and GPS.

Army to induct sound Sound Ranging System    

Gunshot Detector And Other Ideas 

Peak Sound Level  and Signature of FN .308 rifle.


Sound Ranging for EducationThe only items that a technical school would have to purchase, in order to add a sound ranging experiments to their curriculum, would be a few microphones and a high frequency beeper ( don't recommend using a gun).*  The first experiment that, I suggest schools try, would use three microphones as follows:

    Step 1.  Trigger an oscilloscope with signal from closet microphone.
    Step 2.  Observe signal from two other microphones on an oscilloscope.
    Step 3.   Determine accuracy that time of sound arrival interval can be measured.

Other experiment involving amplification, band pass filters for beeps, and rectifying  beeps into pulses suitable for digital processing could be added.


Weapons - now as a Weapons site.  It is actually a slide show with synthesized sound. Click here to go there.  








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