Tech Updates : Smart Bullets

smart bullets

A team of engineers at Sandia National Laboratories, in Albuquerque, are designing a testable prototype of the world’s first laser-guided ­bullet. Like a version of smart bombs, this patented technology has some of the same computerized control and guidance features found on proven Gulf War weaponry, such as the Paveway series of laser-guided bombs. The bullet is designed to follow the point of a laser beam, adjusting its trajectory using a sophisticated array of tiny fins. The four-inch-long bullet has an optical sensor on its nose, which sends data to a series of electromagnetic actuators that steer the fins toward a target.
Shipers says the technology has already cleared a hurdle that experts had said couldn’t be overcome: the survival of the battery and chip, despite their being fired out of a .50-caliber rifle. Launch tests found that the munition’s innards did indeed stand up to the crushing 120 000 g-force acceleration and 344.7 megapascals (50 000 pounds per square inch) of pressure as the bullet comes hurtling out of the barrel. The next step is to find a commercial partner that can turn the ideas now being bench-tested into a field-ready bullet. 
This “smart bullet” actually improves its accuracy with distance, and is capable of hitting a target a mile away within 8 inches.

Information via IEEE

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