ARLINGTON, VA – U.S. Army forces in Afghanistan will begin receiving the first of more than 13,000 gunshot detection systems for the individual dismounted Soldier later this month, service officials said.
“We’re really trying to ensure that every Soldier is protected,” said Brig. Gen. Peter Fuller, Program Executive Officer Soldier.
The Individual Gunshot Detector, or IGD – made by QinetiQ North America – consists of four small acoustic sensors worn by the individual Soldier and a small display screen attached to body armor that shows the distance and direction of incoming fire.
The small sensor, about the size of a deck of cards, detects the supersonic sound waves generated by enemy gunfire and instantaneously alerts Soldiers to the location and distance toward the hostile fire, said Lt. Col. Chris Schneider, product manager for Soldier Maneuver Sensors.
“When you get fired on, instead of trying to figure everything out, you will have technology to assist you in knowing what happened and where the shot was coming from,” Fuller said.
The entire IGD system, procured by PEO Soldier and the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force, weighs less than two pounds, Schneider said.
The idea is to strategically disperse the systems throughout small, dismounted units to get maximum protective coverage for platoons, squads and other units on the move, Schneider explained.
Over the next 12 months, the Army plans to field up to 1,500 IGDs per month, he said.
In the future, the Army plans to integrate this technology with its Land Warrior and Nett Warrior systems. These are network-situational-awareness systems for dismounted units, complete with a helmet-mounted display screen that uses GPS digital-mapping-display technology, Fuller said.
“The next thing we want to do is try to integrate this capability with other capabilities; for example, we have Land Warrior deployed in Afghanistan and we’re going to have Nett Warrior coming into the force. How about, if you get shot at, not only do I know where that came from, but others know where it came from because I can network that capability,” said Fuller.
“It’s about how to leverage technology to improve your survivability and situational awareness.”
From PEO Soldier:
Enables the Soldier to accurately determine the direction and range of gunfire in order to locate the threat.
Individual Gunshot Detector (IGD) technologies are self-contained passive acoustic systems with the capability to detect and localize the source of small arms fire. The system is tuned to detect shockwave and muzzle blast signatures while screening out other acoustic events. IGD technologies use information from both the shockwave of a bullet and the muzzle blast from the corresponding rifle fire as a single sensor to alert the user of the threat. These technologies provide range and alert data out to 400 meters within 10 percent range error and with a bearing error less than 7.5 degrees.
The single sensor system reports this solution directly to the individual Soldier on a visual display and audio alert within a second of a muzzle blast. The technology is able to detect and provide alert data for 5.56mm and 7.62mm ammunition. The system is powered by two DL 123 batteries.