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Introducing a “Self-Guided” Bullet

Posted on February 2, 2012
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I recently read a novel titled “Moondogs,” where one of the main characters is a sniper with extraordinary powers: Efrem Khalid Bakkar can shoot at anyone anywhere in the world as long as he knows the name of the target. That, I think, is one crazy ability.

So imagine my surprise when I learned about a bullet that comes with a built-in processor that guides its own flight. Developed by Sandia National Laboratories (a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin), the bullet travels with the help of tiny adjustable fins.

The laboratory aims in creating a bullet that would go exactly where it should go. The shooter would no longer worry about several factors such as wind and gravity while adjusting the sights. A researcher of Sandia Labs told BBC that their bullets would help soldiers not only hit the bad guys with utmost precision, but also avoid civilians.

The bullet uses a technology similar to guided missiles, but in a smaller mass and a relatively shorter path. The center of gravity is moved toward the front, adding an optical sensor in the nose, and placed fins to keep the bullet from spinning. Inside the bullet is a tiny 8-bit processor that adjusts the position of fins up to 30 times per second.

Despite the promising development, Sandia seeks for a partner to overcome its engineering challenges.

Source: Sandia Labs, via TechCrunch

 
 

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