Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) have become more and more useful for the battlefront as well as the home front in performing reconnaissance and collecting intelligence. To help make them more effective and efficient, SARA pioneered the development of acoustic sensors utilizing Passive Acoustic Non-cooperative Collision-Alert System (PANCAS) technology. PANCAS consists of an array of four lightweight acoustic probes, a custom-designed digital-signal processor, and proprietary windscreen technology and mounts that remove the effects of wind noise and platform vibration.

The 3 x 5 inch digital signal processor board performs all acoustic filtering, detection, location, and tracking of targets. The signal processor interfaces with the UAV flight control system to gather GPS location and aircraft attitude data to estimate geographic location of targets. It then sends data directly to the operator’s ground station through the existing UAV downlink combining the data with intelligence information on a geo-registered, interactive mission map to provide battlefield situational awareness. SARA’s Scout UAV Simulation/Ground Station software provides system development, operator training, and mission control/data display tools for the PANCAS user.


01 Wide area detection of acoustic sources such as heavy vehicles, aircraft, and weapons fire.
02 Direct UAVs to fly over an acoustic source or cue a gimbaled camera to identify a target.
03 Detect hostile fire, locate its source, and allow the UAV to be repositioned.
acoustic images


01 Wide area detection of acoustic sources (heavy vehicles, aircraft, and weapons fire) and can be used to cue the EO/IR camera or the RBCI system.
02 Monitoring of approach ground or air vehicles and impulsive events (small arms fire, mortars, artillery, explosions) from all directions, day or night, in dust or fog and under camouflage.
03 Detect operating vehicles or other sound sources, determine their location, and send detection data to the UAV operator to map the battlefield more rapidly and with more confidence than narrow field-of-view imaging sensors allow. 
04 Lightweight (250 g) and power efficient (consumes 7 watts of 6-volt DC power).