May 11th, 2015

Gun TECH: DARPA Unveils Guided EXACTO .50 Caliber Projectiles

DARPA exactor guided bullet .50 fifty caliber sniper rifle

In the not-too-distant future, U.S. military snipers may be able to steer bullets right to the target, thanks to DARPA, the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency. Believe it or not, DARPA has developed a guided .50-caliber projectile fired from a conventional rifle action. DARPA’s Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) system combines a maneuverable bullet and a real-time guidance system to track and steer the projectile to the target. Inside EXACTO bullets are optical guidance systems, aero-actuation controls, and multiple sensors. The top-secret technology permits the trajectory of the bullet to be altered in flight, allowing the bullet to move left or right, or even fly in an arc around an obstacle.

DARPA exactor guided bullet .50 fifty caliber sniper rifle

EXACTO VIDEO AFTER READ MORE LINK!

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Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 1 Comment »
July 22nd, 2014

DARPA Demonstrates First-Ever Guided .50-Caliber Rifle Bullets

DARPA Exacto .50 Caliber guided bulletImagine if you could “steer” your bullet to the target, after the projectile leaves the muzzle. That has been a dream of marksmen ever since the first rifle was invented. Well that dream is now one step closer to reality, thanks to America’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

DARPA has developed a manueverable .50-caliber rifle bullet. DARPA’s Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) program recently conducted the first successful live-fire tests demonstrating in-flight guidance of .50-caliber bullets. Inside EXACTO bullets are optical guidance systems, aero-actuation controls, and multiple sensors. The top-secret technology permits the trajectory of the bullet to be altered in flight, allowing the bullet to move left or right, or even fly in an arc around an obstacle.

DARPA has released a video showing EXACTO 50-caliber bullets in flight. Watch carefully and you will see the tracked trajectory appear to bend off in one direction in the last segment of the bullet’s flight. Here is the DARPA Video:

According to DARPA: “This video shows EXACTO rounds maneuvering in flight to hit targets that are offset from where the sniper rifle is initially aimed. EXACTO’s specially-designed ammunition and real-time optical guidance system help track and direct projectiles to their targets by compensating for weather, wind, target movement, and other factors that could impede successful aim.”

DARPA Exacto .50 Caliber guided bullet

DARPA states: “For military snipers, acquiring moving targets in unfavorable conditions, such as high winds and dusty terrain commonly found in Afghanistan, is extremely challenging with current technology. It is critical that snipers be able to engage targets faster, and with better accuracy, since any shot that doesn’t hit a target also risks the safety of troops by indicating their presence and potentially exposing their location.”

The Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) system seeks to improve sniper effectiveness and enhance troop safety by allowing greater shooter standoff range and reduction in target engagement timelines. The objective of the EXACTO program is to revolutionize rifle accuracy and range by developing the first ever guided small-caliber bullet. The EXACTO 50-caliber round and optical sighting technology expects to greatly extend the day and nighttime range over current state-of-the-art sniper systems. The system combines a maneuverable bullet and a real-time guidance system to track and deliver the projectile to the target, allowing the bullet to change path during flight to compensate for any unexpected factors that may drive it off course.

Technology development in Phase II included the design, integration and demonstration of aero-actuation controls, power sources, optical guidance systems, and sensors. The program’s next phase includes a system-level live-fire test and technology refinement[.]

Permalink New Product, News 4 Comments »
June 11th, 2010

New Scope Automatically Matches Magnification to Target Range

Imagine a riflescope that could sense target distance and shift from wide field-of-view/low magnification for closer shots to higher magnification for longer-range shots. Just think of the benefits for a hunter. He could just place his cross-hairs on a buck and the scope would automatically zoom to the optimal magnification. Does this sound like science fiction?

Darpa Lockheed DInGo projectWell the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is betting millions of tax dollars that an auto-adjusting rifle scope will soon be science FACT. DARPA recently awarded Lockheed Martin a $3.93 contract to develop a “next generation” Dynamic Image Gunsight Optic, aka DInGO. The DInGO scope automatically calculates the range with a low power laser rangefinder, digitally zooms in on it and accounts for environmental conditions such as wind using sensors built into the scope. It then projects the bullet’s point-of-impact calculated from the embedded ballistics computer. DInGO is based on Lockheed Martin’s One Shot Advanced Sighting System, which utilizes similar technology to automatically transmit crosswind information to a sniper’s scope and move the crosshairs to show the corrected point of aim.

“Current scopes are optimized for a single target range, impacting soldiers’ effectiveness and survivability when engaging targets at different distances,” said Dan Schultz, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems & Sensors Ship & Aviation Systems business. “DInGO will solve this problem, significantly increasing soldiers’ ability to rapidly reconfigure optics for use from short to long ranges and improving marksmanship capabilities for all soldiers.”

While DInGo scope technology will first be implemented for the military on M-4 and M-16 rifles, eventually this automatic ranging/zooming system could be adapted to hunting rifles. Such a system would be great for game hunters. When the prey appears at close range, the scope would provide a relatively low magnification level for enhanced field of view. If the animal was much farther away, the scope would autmatically increase magnification to allow more precise aiming. Hopefully this will be one example of military technology “trickling down” to the general public for sporting use.

Other Scopes with Built-In Laser Rangefinders
Both Burris and Zeiss currently offer hunting scopes with integrated laser-rangefinders that calculate holdover, based on target distance. The Burris Eliminator even projects the calculated aiming (hold) point as a red dot on the vertical crosshair. Shown below is the view through the lens of the Burris Eliminator scope, with the red dot showing holding point. Just place the red dot on the center of the target and pull the trigger. However, neither the Burris nor Zeiss rangefinding scopes automatically adjust magnification/field of view. Zooming in or out must still be done manually. That’s where the DInGO system offers something radically new.

Burris Eliminator Scope

Permalink New Product, Optics 4 Comments »