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Hostile Fire Warning

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SARA is a notable leader in developing ready-to-field Atmospheric Acoustic Sensors, hostile fire warning systems, and subsystems for warning of incoming gunfire.

SARA’s hostile fire warning (HFW) acoustic sensors incorporate proprietary technologies to enable low-cost and lightweight systems with simple installations in multiple form factors – airborne, ground vehicle, or fixed. Through a series of live-flight/live-fire tests against small arms and light weapons, SARA’s HFW systems were shown to reliably detect and indicate direction of incoming fire (Probability of Detect >95%, bearing ±5º) while maintaining an exceptionally low rate of false alarms. In an unfriendly world, SARA’s acoustic HFW systems are your high-performance, budget-friendly solution.

SARA’s Hostile Fire Warning capabilities include multiple acoustic sensor systems to address airborne, ground vehicle, or fixed emplacement applications.  All are based on common, mature technology that has been tested in operationally representative environments.  SARA’s HFW systems have shown a high probability of detection (PD) while having an exceptionally low false alarm rate (FAR).

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In addition to the HFW mission, SARA’s microphone-based sensors can also fulfill an Acoustic Situational Awareness (ASA) function for closed-hatch or uncrewed vehicles.  ASA is the gathering of sounds external to the vehicle for the purpose of characterizing what is in the outside environment.  These may include the general location of hostile troops, vehicles, and/or UAS. 

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SARA has developed hostile fire warning technology designed for a number of applications including ground emplacement, helicopter deployment, and ground vehicles. 

Our ground vehicle sensors have been successfully tested on tracked armored personnel carriers. 

Our helicopter sensor is a single sensor housing that has been tested on multiple platforms and against a variety of small and medium arms fire.

To discuss specific implementations or applications that SARA could provide you for your missions, please contact us.

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SARA’s hostile fire warning technology is based on patented acoustic sensors that are environmentally rugged (MIL-STD 810 certified) and proven to reduce noise from wind and vibration. 

Our proprietary algorithms identify hostile fire against ambient noise and provide localization data. 

A single acoustic HFW sensor array provides a full hemespherical field of regard for most audio frequencies of interest.  

Low size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C)

Order of magnitude lower cost than IR/EO cameras, LIDAR, and RADAR

Acoustic arrays capable of detecting bearing to:

  • Vehicles/generators
  •  Explosions
  • Shooters
  • Indirect fires
  • Voices

Acoustic arrays can provide cueing for limited FOV sensors including MWIR cameras, RADAR, LIDAR, and more.

Hostile Fire Warning Products

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ShotFinder is a TRL-8 Hostile Fire Warning (HFW) system. The system uses acoustic sensors to indicate the direction of incoming small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades. Typically mounted on the exterior of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, the ShotFinder system relays audio shot detection warnings via the aircraft intercom. Above shows the ShotFinder System complete with a ShotFinder Sensor, processor, and control panel.

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ShotFinder Sensor

The ShotFinder Sensor is a low-profile, rugged microphone array that includes patented technology to reduce noise from both vibration and wind flow. This results in the ability to “hear” hostile fire directed towards the ShotFinder-equipped aircraft with a high Probability of Detection (PD) and low False Alarm Rate (FAR). The ShotFinder Sensor mounts onto the exterior of an aircraft and requires only one hole in the aircraft skin to accommodate internal cabling.  A no-hole mounting option is also available.  

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ShotFinder Sensor Simulator

The ShotFinder Sensor Simulator is special test equipment hosting a software-based model of the ShotFinder Sensor. The Sensor Simulator facilitates integration, testing, and verification of the ShotFinder system.

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ShotFinder Stimulator

The ShotFinder Stimulator is a self-contained field tester for the installed ShotFinder System. The Stimulator produces an acoustic threat signature to test and ensure the ShotFinder System is ready to protect the lives of the aircrew.  Field ready, the Stimulator is suitable for use by operational maintenance personnel to test end-to-end functionality of the ShotFinder System before deployment. 

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ThreatSentinel Sensor and Communication and Position Reference (C.A.P.R.) Module

The ThreatSentinel (left) is a passive acoustic hostile fire warning sensor. Typically deployed in an array, these sensors detect and triangulate the position of incoming gunfire, RPGs, and mortars. These sensors are designed to relay information back to soldiers as well as a central base location via tactical transmission network. The C.A.P.R. module (right) is the central receiver for transmissions from the ThreatSentinel sensor units and can visually display the location of detected gunfire in the surrounding area via a connected laptop.

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