Defense Issues

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Posts Tagged ‘counter-artillery’

Radar in counter-battery role

Posted by Picard578 on April 1, 2017

Artillery is dangerous because it is hard to find, hard to destroy, and has the ability to very quickly attack targets via indirect fire. Importance and difficulty of finding the enemy artillery was noticed early in World War I; French were the first to try to locate the enemy artillery, by locating the gun flash produced when firing. This was hard to do if the artillery was far away (reflections had to be used) and unreliable. This it was quickly replaced by sound detection techniques, which were also adapted by British and German militaries as well.

The basis of this technique is a row of 6-7 microphones in a 12 kilometre line. Since the sound spreads in the circles, microphones all detect the sound of a gun at different times, which allows calculating location of the origin of the sound. Original system was based on ordinary stopwatch and telephone cable or radio link, but it worked very well. Similar, but automated, system is in use today. Such system has major advantages in that it is low-cost and completely passive, making it very hard to find and destroy. However, it also has numerous disadvantages. Atmospheric state determination is crucial for its correct operation. The refractive index of air has to be found along the entire sound path, and wind affects system’s performance. Up until the appearance of GPS, setting up the system was also very difficult. Due to these and other issues, it is an inherently defensive technique, difficult to use in rapid movement (albeit it is possible to have two teams of “sounders” alternately set up the line ahead of each other). Read the rest of this entry »

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