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CSIR Developed State-of-the-Art Marksmanship Training System Approved for Induction into the Indian Army

Bengaluru,A state-of-the-art target training system, DHVANI (Detection and Hit Visualization using Acoustic N-wave Identification) developed by CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories (CSIR-NAL), Bengaluru, for perfecting marksmanship skills by accurately determining the location of bullet impact and providing real-time feedback, has been validated and approved for induction into the Indian Army. After rigorous field trials at Army ranges in Bengaluru, Secunderabad, and Infantry School Mhow, DHVANI will now be formally handed over to the Indian Army in Secunderabad tomorrow (on 03 July 2014). 

The marksmanship training requires positive and negative reinforcement of shooting techniques immediately after each shot is fired. However, the manual system currently used by the Indian Army involves the marksman firing shots at the target and subsequently walking up to the target (about 300 m) and identifying whether the shots were a hit or a miss. This primitive type of marksmanship training exhibits not only high turnaround times but is also inconsistent, unreliable, inaccurate and subjective. Furthermore, the marksmanship training systems available from advanced countries for sale are mostly based on old technology of 1980s, which also have exorbitant cost of ownership as they are not customized for the Indian environment and necessitate expensive after-sales service due to the black-box approach of the manufacturers. 

This modern indigenous marksmanship training system, DHVANI is tailor made by CSIR-NAL to meet the requirements of the Indian Army at a cost lower by 40 per cent of the cost of similar systems available elsewhere in the world without compromising on the performance – the whole process i.e. firing a shot to displaying of results at the shooter end takes less than half a millisecond. At the shooter end, a multi-functional interactive GUI on aMIL grade laptop displays the results. Furthermore, a comprehensive database containing personnel details, shots fired and performance statistics ensures comprehensive logging for later analysis. The system originally developed for use by the Indian Army has potential application for use by the paramilitary forces and also in the sports sector. 

The entire development process beginning from the Indian Army’s request to the development of the prototype testing took only 10 months. Each prototype currently costs Rs. 9 lakh/firer lane, which is significantly lower than the price tag of Rs. 15-18 lakh for each firer lane of older generation wired systems in use with the Indian Army. 

The system is based on the basic principles of gas dynamics and aero-acoustics. Essentially, a bullet is a supersonic projectile, which generates a shock wave from its leading edge, continuously at every point of its supersonic travel. At any instant along the bullet path, the shock wave envelope propagates in an invisible-cone continuously outward at an angle related to its Mach number. The pressure wave in air caused due to the passing of the bullet results in a pressure profile known as‘N-wave’ because of its shape. 

The hit location of the bullet is then determined accurately by using an array of sensors to record the acoustic pressure rise due to the passing shock from the bullet. Using advanced algorithms developed at CSIR-NAL, the recorded signal from the sensors are analyzed for detection of N-wave, and the geometrical shape of the shock wave is then used to determine the coordinates of the bullet on the target. These coordinates are then wirelessly transmitted to a display at the shooter end. The entire process starting from firing a shot to the display of results at the shooter end takes less than half a millisecond.