Radiance Technologies from Alabama develops WeaponWatch, an intelligent system that is able to detect the gun’s model and exact location with few milliseconds before the bullet hits its target.
The system is based on infrared sensors that detect missiles or gunfire at the speed of light. Some sort of systems are used already in Iraq but they are based on acoustics. Radiance’s system is being tested by the Army in combat at this moment.
“Obviously when the first shot is fired, you can’t do anything about it,” said George Clark, president of the company founded in 1999. “But what it does do is it allows you to not have a second fired.”
WeaponWatch has a great success and that’s why the company evolved from 3 employees to 275 in only six years of activity.
Radiance Technologies had to convince the Pentagon that its system is practical and those few nanoseconds are useful in combat. The Army already uses systems based on sonar waves.
The acoustic systems used by the Army in Iraq are developed by BBN Technologies and is able to detect enemy gunfire with an array of microphones and is known as Boomerang. Sonar system’s makers say that their devices are better because it produces fewer false alarms than infrared. “There are many ways to create an infrared flash,” Stephen Milligan, BBN’s technology director, said. “I would guess it is ultimately possible to spook it.”