Thursday, February 2, 2012

Worthless Cool

A bullet that doesn't miss?
Engineers at Sandia National Laboratories have invented a bullet that guides itself to the target.

Sandia has wide expertise at miniature technology, and the bullet works like a tiny guided missile.

The patented design doesn't shoot straight. Instead of a spiral rotation, the bullet twists and turns to guide itself towards a laser directed point. It can make up to thirty corrections per second while in the air.
If I get this right, you point the laser thingy on the target while some super-mini tech gizmo inside the bullet steers the projectile to it's target.

It all sounds good, and probably looks good on paper,too.
Practical application? That's another thing altogether.
In practice, bullets don't miss. They land fairly close to where they are pointed. Any misses are attributable to human error, 99.9999% of the time. There are few world class shooters who can out shoot a rifle's ability to perform, but they are so few in number and are not to be found among anybody that you know.

So, if I got this right, the shooter must hold a laser point on the target, which is most likely moving, and hold that laser point on target until the bullet reaches said target, about 1 full second later if it's a long shot.

When firing a weapon, one creates an explosion that disorientates the shooter for a very brief moment in time. This is why quick follow-up shots are challenging. The gun recoils with a loud boom that throws you off point. Quick recovery, meaning the time it takes to accurately sight in on another (or the same) target is a practiced skill.

The longest shot I ever took, and made (because I'm that badass) was on a moving deer about 325-350 yards out. I shot. Heard the *Bang* and had barely enough time to hear the bullet slam into meat. About a second. Maybe less. Maybe a smidgeon more. It was the only time I can actually say that I heard impact from a bullet I had discharged against a live animal.
It's not likely I would have been able to hold a laser point on target soon enough after recovering from recoil to direct the bullet to it's mark.

You getting this? After firing and recovery, there is NO TIME to aim and hold a laser point position on a standing target let alone a moving one.

Maybe a sniper could use it. Snipers work in teams. One guy could hold the laser pointer. Even that won't work. Take it out to a real battlefield, and the laser pointer will give away the sniper's position and thereby defeating the whole point of being a sniper.

Sure, this is really cool technology and all that. It's also worthless.


Brian said...

Maybe a sniper working with a spotter, the spotter using a laser that is outside the visible spectrum?

I agree described, it seems like a really complicated way to do what highly trained marksman can already accomplish.

Foxfier said...

Building on Brian's idea, maybe add in that the "shooting" sniper is just a launcher robot?

Have a crud-ton of ranges of light that you'll use, and them have them all over the place.... Have to only actually USE it on high-quality targets because you'd have a greatly limited number of non-dummy lights, but still.

Palm boy said...

The mechanical firing control aspect of this Foxfier presented has some good application possibilities.

The presumption is that a motor actuated fire station can move faster and fire more consistently with a high grade of firepower then a human counter part. Just set up .50's on the wall / deck of a ship, and run these bullets through them with human spotters in a safer vantage point tagging targets with these lasers. Remote & wireless fire control is in the hand of the human spotter, extreme firepower from the 'turret' linked to the human control.