posted on May, 1 2006 @ 06:12 AM
Acoustic tracking dates to WWI, not II (though it was used then as well) and is actually relatively effective in a clear air environment. System
appearance is similar to a giant set of tuba-like 'collector drums' whose az/el is manually dialed in based on amplitude. Clouds can and do create
sound channels and general 'muffling' of wave phenomena but the fact remains that we can and do use sound as a tracking element in both ground
emplaced (REMBASS and other UGS) and artillery hunting missions with _spectacular_ success. The BAT munition was also at one time a pure acoustic
During WWII the 'Kranich' acoustic fuze (for early guided AAM) worked on the principal of a stretched diaphragm resonating at bomber engine
base-frequency levels until completing a circuit when the material contacted an armatures laid across it.
What people fail to understand is that, particularly for high altitude, supersonic, tracking systems, it doesn't /matter/ if you detect a threat a
little late because the coupling of direct-air and P/S wave (micro-seismic and 7-10K fps through ground) systems gives you very good indications of
both high frequency and low rumble overlap which can be correlated _in depth_, very cheaply.
Most have heard of the 'Aurora' reports of hypersonic travel along or into American airspace of a Mach 6-10 signature recorded on quake-detectors as
well as by human auditory witnessing.
But what is not as well publicized is that the USAF supposedly closed down a wind-powered electrical generation 'windmill' facility in northern
Nevada because it was interfering with exactly such a system. And it is known that Edwards also has an acoustic tracker.
IMO, if you can track a threat from the border inwards; you can kill it 'eventually' as a function of collating several aperture reports into
trackfiles to which you fly out a weapon that _hunts_ (sustains pursuit of) for the target in a given TLE cube of airspace.
You would NOT likely want to do this with an acoustic 'seeker', simply because it wouldn't function properly at high slipstream levels (though you
can hear a nearby burner light through the canopy on a manned jet) and would in any case have too limited a search cone.
Lastly, in regards to helos, the AHM which is most frequently derived from brilliant anti-tank munitions has now reached fruition in an acoustic-cued
Russian built system which is being used against USAr assets in Iraq and which is reportedly responsible for an increasing number of S2A helo kills
based on a dual channel (IR+Sound) cue-launched projectile which has variously been described as either a converted mortar shell (RF proxfuze) popup
device or an EFP.
It can be done. Both indirectly as a function of tracking and directly (over limited radii and speed range) as a function of weapon
It's just that we do not because, having vested huge amounts of capital into RF, it is simpler to exploit an existing technology base.