A sniper crouches near an open window and zooms in on his target, who sits a half-mile away. He peers through a scope and holds his breath, preparing to squeeze the trigger. But it's windy outside, and he can't afford a miss. What to do?
A new DARPA-funded 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, it 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.
Lockheed is supposed to deliver 15 field-testable prototypes by next October.
Isn't there an iPhone app for this already?
"We Entertain When It Rains"
@rainy. I got to admit, that made me laugh
Next step will be to integrate this system into a drone. I'm glad we're the ones that are so far ahead with perfecting assassin droids.
Attach it to a quadcopter and we're good to go.
And what if I attached this to a sniper wielding terminator???
while the machanics of this may seems astounding to most in 97 i ets'd from a 3 years tour as a tank crewman in the us army, the M1A1 and many other vehicles in the army have had this ability for over a decade, more over they also had to calculate speed of the vehicle and the terrain that was being driven over to come up with a "firing solution".
the real jaw dropper is to intergrate in into a system that a troop could carry into action
@awjanua, I thins the "news" here is actually about the size of the unit (and hopefully smaller unit to come). Lets face it the first real application for computers in the military was to take on this problem (without the wind at that time), the idea if far from new.
Before the Abrams; "Complementing the 16"/50 caliber Mark 7 gun was a fire control computer, in this case the Ford Instrument Company Mark 8 Range Keeper. This analog computer was used to direct the fire from the battleship's big guns, taking into account several factors such as the speed of the targeted ship, the time it takes for a projectile to travel, and air resistance to the shells fired at a target." Aiming and computing go back a long ways, to WW2 Iowa Class Battleships. Later, we added radar to "Mark" targets. Microcircuitry and the new Remington upgrade for M-24; XM-2010, .300 Winchester Magnum will leave the "Bad Guys" with a little red hole between the eyes. On my 06, I still work with "windage and elevation". God Bless Texas.
Bullets that aim themselves.. did this idea come to Darpa before or after last Monday's Chuck?
oh, its the gun doing the work.. now i'm pretty sure rainy was on the right track. there probably is an app for that
* How does is handle complex/craggy cantons and paking garages, etc. ?
* Can it be duped by acoustic simulators ?
* What about non-standard loads and barrel lengths ?
* Who's to say the enemy is not using a "friendly make/model" rifle ?
* What about supressed and silened rifles and custom rigs?
How come DARPA hasn't invented a mini-sized FGM-148 Javelin type missile for sniping? It's range would be unlimited,and would work in any kind of weather conditions.Modern electronics should be able to fit in a cigar tube sized projectile.
I think it's a bit of a misnomer that this is a self aiming rifle. Sure it adjusts the aim point so you just put the crosshairs where you want to hit but the rest is still up to the rifleman making the shot. I mean if he jerks the trigger or the target suddenly ducks the bullet is still going to miss. Eventually the system could be modified to have servos and allow for the barell to move into position once locked on a target. However, you would still need target aquistion capabilities. The truly self aiming rifle is still a little off but this is one is getting close.
I always wondered if you could add a gyrosope to a rife to make it easier to hold steady #just wonderin'
This does have promise for inclusion in a stable platform system that allows a trained technition, rather than a trained rifleman make high difficulty shots (since, with a stable servo-style system, anyone with a labtop and some training could be an expert marksman - without lengthy training time or natural talent).
It also has promise for continually shifting targets in real time (moving targets at great range or unstable platform - like a helicopter or boat deck).
Putting it on a UAV, however, would be a whole new issue. Even the largest systems that would laugh at the weight would NOT laugh at the flight recoil that such a system would create. Your normal missile is a release then fire weapon.
That said, I wouldn't mind such a system on my civilian arms. Snipping bambi on the far side of the field from the comfort of my living room couch sounds pretty good.
I'm disappointed. I thought they already had a better version of this. Calculating an output based on a very small number of input variables (a dozen or so) should be no challenge for even one of our slightly obsolescent microprocessor chips. Some things would need lookup tables, like bullet drift at extreme ranges, but that ain't rocket science either - I remember reading a detailed analysis of the phenomenon in one of His Majesty's publications about the .303 cartridge dating from 1929.
Neato! A computerized sniper system! What could possibly go wrong? "ROBOT GUN SYSTEM KILLS 9 SOUTH AFRICAN SOLDIERS, WOUNDS 14" www.wired.com/dangerroom/2007/10/robot-cannon-ki/
multiple non-linear variables and the device can only gather information from a limited space, meaning it can't estimate what's going to happen. It also has to update the information with a high frequency otherwise it would be totally useless. I'm guessing these increase the required computing power hence the size of the module.
@jum1801 device just makes calculations it is still a human who pulls the trigger.
Already a lot of lethal weapons are devised. Such weapons should be invented which could protect friends and victims.
There goes DARPA again with their top secret, super awesome weapons and what not.
Missile strike would be my choice over the "perfect shot" but thats just me
Yeah, but what happens when the slug gets there and just hits the wall behind the hologram of the military officer and it just goes right on being believed as it issues orders as if no try had been made at all? Would the kill still count? I sure hope not. Quality assurance in the high mass consumption society has really been suffering lately. My point is that this advance will not only be matched at the point of impact, but will also be fought by high, or low-tech methods designed to attack the way this will have to operate to be successful. It seems to me that the more powerful a sensory apparatus, the easier it would be to deceive.
Don't want to sound like a geek, but i played a game called sniper something something, that had something that sounds exactly like this system, a dot would appear in the sight indicating where to aim based on wind conditions etc. sounds like real life is a bit behind once again
The novel thing about this is it can measure all the wind between the rifle and the target. Given that wind can be going three different directions over the length of the shot this is supposed to sum the net effect and give that to the shooter. Currently marksman can measure the wind at their own position and then make an educated guess based upon what they can see.