“Our .50-caliber bullet can guide itself to a hit half a mile away”
By Larry Shipers, as told to Flora Lichtman
Posted 06.07.2012 at 1:08 pm 28 Comments
For years, people have tried to come up with ways to steer bullets, and everyone has consistently said you can’t do it. And you couldn’t—if the bullet was spinning. A spinning bullet is too stable; you can’t apply enough force to turn it off its axis of revolution. The secret sauce is that our bullet doesn’t spin. It’s kind of like a musket ball, which doesn’t rotate, but with technology added to let us control where it goes.
When you’re aiming at a target two miles away, the slightest perturbation could end up causing a catastrophic miss — not good enough for today’s military. Until guns can aim themselves, snipers need the most accurate weapons possible. Engineers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory came up with a laser-guided correction system that ensures a shooter’s crosshairs are always on the mark.
The new Reticle Compensating Rifle Barrel Reference Sensor measures slight disruptions in a gun barrel, automatically compensating for how they would impact a bullet’s trajectory and adjusting the gun’s crosshairs accordingly.
She manipulates simple laws of physics to create “bullets” made of sound waves
By Bjorn Carey
Posted 11.30.2010 at 11:58 am 4 Comments
Chiara Daraio loves the pick and roll. As a former member of Italy's junior national basketball team, she knows that although the effect of the play is complex and devastating, its parts are simple. It goes like this: Daraio blocks a defender’s path, her teammate darts past, Daraio rotates away from the pursuing defender and waits, unguarded, for her teammate's quick pass and an open shot. Pick. Roll. Pass. Shoot. It's a straightforward process with a sophisticated result.
U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers will deploy with the XM-25 weapon this summer, so that they can shower enemies hidden inside buildings with lethal smart rounds. Veterans of the Afghanistan conflict who tried the weapon predicted it would be a "game changing" gun capable of taking out insurgents hidden behind cover, Military.com reports.
The XM-25 resembles a highly sophisticated grenade launcher that fires laser-guided smart rounds. The laser gauges a distance to target and allows the warfighter to set where the round will detonate, adding or subtracting increments of 3 meters from the laser-spotted point. Then the scope tells a microchip inside the round how far it should travel before exploding.
Military and police higher-ups can now see just how many shots a particular weapon fired during the course of a battle or incident. The Register reports that a new black box device designed for rifles and submachine guns could report on ammo usage and weapon jamming, as well as who shot whom at what time.
A good bullet-resistant ride can do the trick for most VIPs, leaving aside physics-defying assassins and impossible curving bullets. But the U.S. Department of Defense also wants controllable protection against the sun's vicious ultraviolet rays, not to mention prying eyes and sniper scopes.
It would be hard to describe a bullet as smart, but what if that bullet was laser-guided, radio-controlled, and carried an onboard targeting CPU? The US Army has announced the creation of the XM25 rifle, which can fire a new type of explosive round that fit that exact description. Imagine the implications: hitting targets inside buildings or hiding around walls. Whoa.
A breakthrough nanotech coating for cartridges in firearms can transfer hard-to-remove tags to gun offenders and better capture DNA
By Jaya Jiwatram
Posted 08.04.2008 at 12:15 pm 3 Comments
Gun-slinging evil-doers beware. Scientific justice is just around the corner thanks to a new nanotechnology system that not only better captures DNA on guns, but attaches hard-to-remove, microscopic tags to the hands and clothing of criminals who fire their weapons. Developed in the U.K., the tags are a unique blend of naturally-occurring pollen, known for its extraordinary adhesive properties, and nanotechnology particles.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.