This week, my company gave a demonstration of our soldier-worn gunshot location system to the US Army at Ft. Jackson, SC, on of the largest training bases in the US Army, and a base formerly commanded by our Vice Chairman, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Steve Siegfried. The event was something of a turning point for us, and results were excellent, but that’s not the purpose of this Blog entry.
First some background: One of the features we wanted to demonstrate was that our sensors can filter out the sonic “snap” (really a small sonic boom) created by a bullet as it moves through the air. Not all bullets create this sonic snap; only supersonic bullets do. Most military weapons fire supersonic projectiles, including the M16-A4 rifle, an AK-47, etc. So someone standing down-range of a supersonic weapon hears two noises: the sonic snap of the bullet, followed by the muzzle blast of the weapon. Unfortunately, this sonic snap confuses soldiers, because the noise comes off the bullet, and not from the muzzle of the weapon, and thus the human brain gets confused and doesn’t correctly figure out the origin of the gunfire. Our ShotSpotter sensors can figure out the difference between the two sounds, and we triangulate on the muzzle blast (where the shooter is) and not the sonic snap (where the bullet is