Self-Guided Bullet Accurate Over One Mile

A small-caliber, self-guided bullet is under development at Sandia National Laboratories. Smooth-bore firearms could hit laser-designated targets at distances of up to 2K meters.


(Self-Guided Bullet Accurate Over One Mile video)

Sandiaís design for the four-inch-long bullet includes an optical sensor in the nose to detect a laser beam on a target. The sensor sends information to guidance and control electronics that use an algorithm in an eight-bit central processing unit to command electromagnetic actuators. These actuators steer tiny fins that guide the bullet to the target...

Computer simulations showed an unguided bullet under real-world conditions could miss a target more than a half mile away (1,000 meters away) by 9.8 yards (9 meters), but a guided bullet would get within 8 inches (0.2 meters), according to the patent. Plastic sabots provide a gas seal in the cartridge and protect the delicate fins until they drop off after the bullet emerges from the firearmís barrel.

We're getting closer to smart bullets, five-inch fire-and-forget self-tracking bullet-missiles like in Michael Crichton's 1984 movie Runaway.


(Smart bullet dissected)

"Jack, look at this. The back half is all solid propellant. Valves for directional control ... look, it's all electronic."

"You've heard of a bullet that has your name on it. Well, this one really does. And you can program it to go after a specific person."

From Physorg; thanks to Dewtey and Winchell Chung for the tip and reference for this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/30/2012)

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