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Audio Forensic Gunshot Analysis and Multilateration

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This paper considers the opportunities and challenges of acoustic multilateration in gunshot forensics cases. Audio forensic investigations involving gunshot sounds may consist of multiple simultaneous but unsynchronized recordings obtained in the vicinity of the shooting incident. The multiple recordings may provide information useful to the forensic investigation, such as the location and orientation of the firearm, and if multiple guns were present, addressing the common question “who shot first?” Sound source localization from multiple recordings typically employs time difference of arrival (TDOA) estimation and related principles known as multilateration. In theory, multilateration can provide a good estimate of the sound source location, but in practice acoustic echoes, refraction, diffraction, reverberation, noise, and spatial/temporal uncertainty can be confounding.

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