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Innovation

Tiny sensor can listen to gunshots, identify type and location on battlefield

A Dutch firm has developed a tiny new sensor that can "listen" for noises on the battlefield, such as screams, gunshots, mortars and warplanes.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor on

A Dutch firm has developed a tiny new sensor that can "listen" for noises on the battlefield, such as screams, gunshots, mortars and warplanes.

Netherlands-based Microflown Technologies calls the technology acoustic vector sensing, or AVS.

The sensor itself is smaller than the head of a match, made of two 200-nanometer-thick, 10-micrometer-wide platinum strips that are heated to 200 degrees Celsius.

The sensor doesn't "listen" in the way we think of the word. Instead, it measures the three-dimensional movement of individual air particles to determine the X, Y and Z coordinates of the source of the noise.

It can measure this because air particles that flow past the strips cool them unevenly. The cooling and heating feedback is analyzed by Microflown's signal-processing software using a compact PC.

The technology -- which is sensitive enough to tell a soldier what kind of weapon was fired -- was invented by Microflown co-founder Hans-Elias de Bree.

The sensor can also pick out sounds from a crowd, such as in a public square or at a border checkpoint.

The difference between this sensor and existing technology (such as radar) is that the passive Microflown sensor is very compact, doesn't require a lot of additional equipment and can't be traced back to its source.

Microflown says its tech is undergoing testing by military in the Netherlands, Germany, India, Poland, New Zealand and Australia.

[via DVICE]

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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