Radio Frequency (RF) Detection of Small Arms Fire, 10-R8173

Printer Friendly Version

Principal Investigators
Thomas C. Untermeyer
Gregory C. Willden
Carl E. Weiss
Andrew R. Cormier
Chuong D. Khuc

Inclusive Dates:  07/01/10 – 06/30/11

Background - For defense purposes, the military has an interest in detecting weapons as soon as possible after their firing or launching from as far away as possible. Optical, infrared (IR), and acoustic systems exist today that can detect the firing of a variety of weapons. However, these detection methods do not work as well during obscured environmental conditions caused by phenomena such as clouds, fog and rain. Acoustic systems also provide much slower response time and limited range. Since the 1950s, the open literature has reported the possible generation of radio frequency (RF) emissions caused by the launching of a variety of weapons. Passive RF detection of weapon launches could provide a benefit over optical, IR, and acoustic systems by providing fast detection through obscured environments over extended ranges.

Approach - Using lessons learned during previous testing, including the development of sensors used to collect RF data from a variety of weapons, the objective of this project is to reliably and consistently detect the RF signals caused by the firing of automatic weapons to understand the phenomenology associated with the cause of the RF signal.

Accomplishments - The team has begun developing a draft test plan to include the appropriate antennas and test equipment for collecting RF and video data at both a close and far range.

2010 Program Home