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6 June 2013 The multipath propagation effect in gunshot acoustics and its impact on the design of sniper positioning systems
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Counter sniper systems rely on the detection and parameter estimation of the shockwave and the muzzle blast in order to determine the sniper location. In real-world situations, these acoustical signals can be disturbed by natural phenomena like weather and climate conditions, multipath propagation effect, and background noise. While some of these issues have received some attention in recent publications with application to gunshot acoustics, the multipath propagation phenomenon whose effect can not be neglected, specially in urban environments, has not yet been discussed in details in the technical literature in the same context. Propagating sound waves can be reflected at the boundaries in the vicinity of sound sources or receivers, whenever there is a difference in acoustical impedance between the reflective material and the air. Therefore, the received signal can be composed of a direct-path signal plus N scaled delayed copies of that signal. This paper presents a discussion on the multipath propagation effect and its impact on the performance and reliability of sniper positioning systems. In our formulation, propagation models for both the shockwave and the muzzle blast are considered and analyzed. Conclusions following the theoretical analysis of the problem are fully supported by actual gunshots acoustical signatures.
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António L. L. Ramos, Sverre Holm, Sigmund Gudvangen, and Ragnvald Otterlei "The multipath propagation effect in gunshot acoustics and its impact on the design of sniper positioning systems", Proc. SPIE 8711, Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense XII, 87110A (6 June 2013);

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