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Looking for additional prior art for this Raytheon patent application related to vehicle-based acoustic locating systems.

  • Title Methods for locating an acoustic source
  • Publication Number: US 20130107668 A1
  • Application Number: US 13/283,997
  • Assignee: Raytheon
  • Prior Art Date: Seeking prior Art predating 10/28/2011
  • Link to Google Prior Art Search - "Find Prior Art"

Claim 1. A method of locating an acoustic source using a plurality of vehicles, comprising:

  • Transferring acoustic input from a plurality of sensors to a plurality of processing modules, wherein each of the plurality of sensors is coupled to one of the plurality of processing modules, and wherein each of the plurality of vehicles includes at least one of the plurality of sensors and one of the plurality of processing modules;

  • Determining a location of each of the plurality of vehicles using at least one of a global positioning system module and an inertial motion unit module located in each vehicle;

  • Processing, at each of the plurality of processing modules, the received acoustic input;

  • Designating one of the plurality of processing modules a master processing module; sending processed acoustic input received at each processing module to the master processing module;

  • Combining the processed acoustic input at the master processing module; and

  • Estimating acoustic source location based on combined processed acoustic data.

Claim 9. The method of claim 1, wherein estimating the acoustic source location includes calculating a minimum least squares estimate.

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Claim 9 of this patent is related to the following paper. Although the paper doesn't refer specifically to microphones on vehicles it does refer to the main idea of acoustic location using distributed microphone arrays. Attaching the microphones to vehicles isn't in itself particularly inventive. For example, the same techniques described below would work whether the ad-hoc microphone arrays are moving or stationary:

Published August 2011 at a conference in Buenos Aires

DoA of gunshot signals in a spatial microphone array: Performance of the interpolated Generalized Cross-Correlation method

The direction of arrival of impulsive, wideband audio signals, specifically of gunshot signals, is the main interest of this work. The Generalized Cross-Correlation (GCC) method, typically employed for wideband signals, is used in a tetrahedral microphone array to estimate horizontal and vertical angles. An investigation on the performance of the scheme is carried out based on signals recorded in an open air, low-noise environment, and then repeatedly replayed in an open-air, noisy environment, under controlled Direction of Arrival. To increase the accuracy of DoA estimates, the correlation function evaluated between each pair of microphones and used by GCC methods goes through an interpolation process. From this study, we have concluded that the GCC method can perform adequately in the task of estimating the DoA of a gunshot signal even in the presence of strong noise level and lower sampling frequency.

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpls/abs_all.jsp?arnumber=6021287

Published in: Argentine School of Micro-Nanoelectronics Technology and Applications (EAMTA), 2011 http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/mostRecentIssue.jsp?punumber=6013948

Print ISBN: 978-1-4577-1236-4 / INSPEC Accession Number: 12244486

Question - Are you aware of additional prior art for this patent application?

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Having the microphones mounted on vehicles that can be repositioned fluidly seems to allow for capabilities not possible with fixed-location microphones. –  George White Jan 15 at 20:05
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