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9/23/2020 3:47:02 PM
Posted: 3/9/2010 6:09:03 PM EDT

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Super listening device hears and identifies any sound
Super listening device hears and identifies any sound

The subtle art of listening, allegedly the keystone of successful marriages, has a defensive role in the chaos of war, too. A Dutch firm is shopping to world militaries a tiny device that listens for screams, gunshots, mortars and even warplanes. It doesn't listen in the conventional sense, but instead measures the 3D movement of individual air particles in order to determine the x, y and z coordinates of whatever made the noise in question.

To do this, Netherlands-based Microflown Technologies is using technology that it developed, called acoustic vector sensing (AVS). The sensor is smaller than a match head. At its heart are two platinum strips, each 200-nanometers thick (about 600 atoms across) by 10 micrometers wide. They're stretched parallel across a gap and heated to 200 degrees Celsius when operating.

Air particles flowing past the strips cool them unevenly. The pattern of cooling and heating is analyzed by signal-processing software, created by Microflown, in a compact PC, such as the CompuLab fit-PC2.

Hans-Elias de Bree, who invented AVS and who co-founded Microflown, says a soldier near-instantaneously sees not only where the sound originated, but also information about the sound, such as what make of weapon.

It can also be used to pick out sounds from a crowd or a line of cars at a checkpoint. In the case of an aircraft, the device (unhelpfully named the Microflown) can plot its location in real-time 3D. In fact, the soldier could effectively act as an air traffic controller, guiding multiple planes, and in zero visibility if necessary.

There are other technologies that can localize sounds and trace their origin, but some of them use radar, which can itself be traced back to its source. Others require significant infrastructure like weather stations. And yet others are passive like Microflown, but require soldiers to deploy large devices or even arrays of devices.

AVS can benefit from multiple devices being deployed, according to de Bree, but because the sensor is measuring the motions of individual air particles, it doesn't have to triangulate sound waves to determine location.

He wouldn't say who has placed orders, but de Bree says Microflown tech is being tested by the armies of the Netherlands, Germany, India, Poland, New Zealand and Australia.
Link Posted: 3/9/2010 6:27:49 PM EDT
Even the sound of one hand clapping?
Link Posted: 3/9/2010 6:39:04 PM EDT
Shit. Can they hear me jackin?
Link Posted: 3/9/2010 6:43:13 PM EDT
Tree falling in the woods?
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