Directional Gunfire Sensor

By Deane Barker on March 24, 2004

New high-tech tools help soldiers pinpoint gunfire in Iraq: Some damn fine technology, this.

Sensors atop an aluminum pole on the back of a Humvee pick up supersonic shock waves to give an approximate location of gunfire, and sound waves measured from the muzzle blast narrow it some more.

A cigarette box-sized display on the dashboard or windshield then shows the findings. “Incoming, 5 o’clock,” says a speaker inside the box.



  1. Does the Speaker Play before or after the Gunman on top gets hit?

    If they are using Super-Sonics Bullets, then alas, you don’t need the sensor, you can feel where the trajectory is comming from, before you heard it!!

    this should go into the most use-less inventions.

  2. The article talks about how the snipers rarely ever hit on the first shot. They apparently use AK-47s and such which are inaccurate as hell. They miss on the first shot, the sensor locates them, and they don’t get a second shot.

  3. I am very intrigued by this gadget and it will be very useful. I just wish my unit was getting them.

    Think about when this is being used… 1 – You are driving or sitting in a Humvee.
    2 – The engine is always running, because if you shut it off and draw fire, that is exactly when you have a maintanence issue and can’t get it started.
    3 – Only about 2/3 of the Humvees in theater have a gunner…others have hard tops or soft tops with no place for gunners so you really don’t have good eyes on your target.
    4 – Plus, a smart enemy doesn’t jump up and fire when you are looking at him, and these guys aren’t stupid. 5 – Every Humvee has a radio that you are trying to listen to as well as scan your sector.
    6 – If you are driving, your driver is concentrating on the road cuz Iraqis are the craziest drivers on the earth and Iraq has some of the worst roads you can imagine. 7 – Every mission you are on is treated as a movement to contact…so you expect to draw fire at some point.

    Given all this, the first warning of a shot being fired at you is the pinging sound it makes as it reflects off the armor…you just don’t hear the discharge of the weapon firing. It doesn’t matter if the computer tells you before you get hit, because that doesn’t change the fact that you are going to get hit. You just have to count on your Kevlar, body armor and vehicle armor to take care of that one.

    Once you have been hit, if you can immediately direct your return fire on a single point, or at least a limited area of engagement, you can quickly remove the threat to you and your soldiers and limit the damage to the surrounding area. That is mission accomplishment.

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