UAV Based Gunshot Localisation

UAV Based Acoustic Target Acquisition technology is a gunshot detection and localisation system, based on the worldwide unique and extremely small Acoustic Vector Sensor (AVS) technology developed by Microflown AVISA.

This unique localisation system is considered to be a “game changer” for the battlefield by the Netherlands Armed Forces, which has funded the development of this technology, giving ears to UAVs.

The camera sweep of an area from a UAV has little to no chance of localising a well-hidden shooter. Using the AVS game-changing technology for situational awareness, the UAV will ‘know where to look’ and identify the shooter.

This unprecedented technology allows not only localisation of SAF/RAM but also of ground vehicles and aerial platforms on the battlefield.

UAV Acoustic Payload

Microflown AVISA produces the Clip On Acoustic Pointer as a product for all mini-UAVs.

The Clip On Acoustic Pointer for mini-UAVs is a complete stand-alone device that can be clipped on the airfoil of any fixed wing mini-UAV (pusher or puller) without affecting its flight performance and/or structural integrity.

Suppressing the background noise of the UAV, the Clip On Acoustic Pointer hears in all directions in a full spherical bubble. This enables real time localisation of:

  • Ground based Small Arms Fire (SAF)
  • Rockets, Artillery and Mortars (RAM) firing positions
  • Surrounding airborne platforms

The Clip On Acoustic Pointer for mini-UAVs consists of:


  • 3D Acoustic Vector Sensor (AVS)
  • Dagger shaped wind cap to handle the headwind
  • Sensors for GPS, altitude, yaw, pitch and roll
  • Miniaturised electronics
  • Data link and antenna
  • Housing for electronics


  • Airfoil mounting clip

Real time output provides the direction of the target relative to the position of the UAV.

Clip On Acoustic Pointer for mini-UAVs is mission ready and flight tested on several platforms.

Acoustic Vector Sensors do hear all around in a full spherical bubble. The background noise induced by the UAV platform itself can be eliminated, allowing the AVS to detect indeed other (noise making) airborne vehicles, such as helicopters, propeller aircraft etc. This way the Acoustic Vector Sensors can also be used in a mid-air anti-collision system, also known as Sense & Avoid. The acoustic vector sensors can detect and localise any flying objects approaching the UAV from any direction, so long as they emit noise. Using novel signal processing techniques, a large number of sound sources around the UAV can be simultaneously localised, and if necessary, avoiding action can be taken.

A first paper: “Hear & Avoid for Micro Air Vehicles” was presented in Braunschweig/Germany during the IMAV conference in 2010.

During an experiment in 2011, a Cessna 172 Skyhawk and a Skywalker microUAV equipped with an AVS were planned to approach each other in the air above Vredepeel airbase near Eindhoven. The Cessna could be detected six seconds before its closest point of passing by “Acoustic Vector Sensors on Small Unmanned Air Vehicles”.

In December 2011, Australia’s DASI presented a paper on ”Acoustic Sense & Avoid for UAV’s”.

During the Acoustics 2012 congress, Swiss EPFL a ”proof fconcept for anti-collision systems” was presented.

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