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Proceedings Paper

Reliable discrimination of high explosive and chemical/biological artillery using acoustic UGS
Author(s): Myron E. Hohil; Sachi Desai
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Paper Abstract

The Army is currently developing acoustic overwatch sensor systems that will provide extended range surveillance, detection, and identification for force protection and tactical security on the battlefield. A network of such sensors remotely deployed in conjunction with a central processing node (or gateway) will provide early warning and assessment of enemy threats, near real-time situational awareness to commanders, and may reduce potential hazards to the soldier. In contrast, the current detection of chemical/biological (CB) agents expelled into a battlefield environment is limited to the response of chemical sensors that must be located within close proximity to the CB agent. Since chemical sensors detect hazardous agents through contact, the sensor range to an airburst is the key-limiting factor in identifying a potential CB weapon attack. The associated sensor reporting latencies must be minimized to give sufficient preparation time to field commanders, who must assess if an attack is about to occur, has occurred, or if occurred, the type of agent that soldiers might be exposed to. The long-range propagation of acoustic blast waves from heavy artillery blasts, which are typical in a battlefield environment, introduces a feature for using acoustics and other disparate sensor technologies for the early detection and identification of CB threats. Employing disparate sensor technologies implies that warning of a potential CB attack can be provided to the solider more rapidly and from a safer distance when compared to that which conventional methods allow. This capability facilitates the necessity of classifying the types of rounds that have burst in a specified region in order to give both warning and provide identification of CB agents found in the area. In this paper, feature extraction methods based on the discrete wavelet transform (DWT) and multiresolution analysis facilitate the development of a robust classification algorithm that affords reliable discrimination between conventional and simulated chemical/biological artillery rounds using acoustic signals produced during detonation. Distinct characteristics arise within the different airburst signatures because high explosive warheads emphasize concussive and shrapnel effects, while chemical/biological warheads are designed to disperse their contents over large areas, therefore employing a slower burning, less intense explosive to mix and spread their contents. The ensuing blast waves are readily characterized by variations in the corresponding peak pressure and rise time of the blast, differences in the ratio of positive pressure amplitude to the negative amplitude, and variations in the overall duration of the resulting waveform. We show that, highly reliable discrimination (> 98%) between conventional and potentially chemical/biological artillery is achieved at ranges exceeding 3km. A feedforward neural network classifier, trained on a feature space derived from the distribution of wavelet coefficients found within different levels of the multiresolution decomposition yields.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 October 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5986, Unmanned/Unattended Sensors and Sensor Networks II, 59860Q (26 October 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.632825
Show Author Affiliations
Myron E. Hohil, U.S. Army RDECOM (United States)
Sachi Desai, U.S. Army RDECOM (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5986:
Unmanned/Unattended Sensors and Sensor Networks II
Edward M. Carapezza, Editor(s)

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