Sandia National Lab’s self-guiding bullets have a one-mile range…
Engineers from Sandia National Laboratories have already had success with self correcting systems for high caliber rifles, and now they’ve taken things one step further by developing a self-guiding bullet able to navigate its way to strike targets up to one mile away.
While most precision-guided weapons are typically reserved for larger weapons aboard ship or on aircraft, Sandia’s new dart-shaped bullet has been designed for small caliber firearms.
Sandia Self-Guiding Bullets
The bullet, currently 4 inches in length, works like many other precision-guided weapons; it uses an optical sensor to follow a laser which is pointed on the target. An on board CPU tracks the laser and adjusts the bullet’s fins to direct it to its target. And since the round is simply following the laser, the shooter can change its trajectory midflight.
The margin of error is currently around 10ft, however computer simulations suggest that the bullet could become accurate enough to strike targets no less than 8 inches from the designated spot.
The team is now looking for funds to take the proof of concept to a manufactureable product.
Unfortunately there’s no technical description offered in the clip below, but you can just about make out the round exit the muzzle, deploy its fins, and strike its target.
- Claw Dillow: Video: A New 'Smart Bullet' Deploys Fins and Guides Itself to a Laser-Designated Target. Popular Science, 01/30/2012.