Monday, October 4, 2010

Self-Aiming Sniper Rifles

Pair this new technology with the 'Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System' and you have something for the bad guys to seriously worry about.

"Using the One-Shot system, under development by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a new electro-optical system will calculate the ballistics for him, telling him where to aim and ensuring a perfect shot -- no matter the weather conditions.

Lockheed Martin won a $6.9 million contract this week for the second phase of DARPA’s One-Shot system, which will provide direct observations of a target, measure every variable that influences a bullet’s flight, and calculate the aim offset in a sniper’s rifle scope.

During the project’s first phase, which started in 2007, Lockheed developed a down-range system that measured average crosswind; range to target; spotter scope position; air temperature, pressure, and humidity; and more, according to Military Aerospace. Using all those variables, the company calculated the ballistics for a .308 bullet at ranges as far as 3,600 feet.

While that’s impressive, the system was too heavy and unwieldy, and it couldn’t be used with standard rifle scopes. The phase-two design will be more compact and able to operate in real time and over longer distances.

It will measure atmospheric conditions, account for the weapon’s maximum effective range and include GPS coordinates. It’s also supposed to communicate with the rifle scope, informing the gun itself of the aim point offset and expected crosswind.

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