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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

This bullet can change direction mid-air to track down its target

The future of war is a laser-guided bullet that can change direction and hit targets at a distance of over one mile away.
DARPA, the research arm of the Pentagon, has developed the EXACTO system to put a four-inch-long bullet with an optical laser sensor and an eight-bit central processing unit that can compute an algorithm to command electromagnetic steering to give the bullet its deadly precision.
DARPA EXACTO system from Sandia Labs
Photo via Sandia Labs/Flickr
Unlike most rifle bullets, EXACTO has no spin. Instead, it travels like an electronic dart with fins that can guide it in mid-air.
A sniper team can control the bullet after firing to ensure accuracy while compensating for weather, wind, target movement, and a range of other factors.
Computer aerodynamic modeling shows the design would result in dramatic improvements in accuracy, Sandia National Laboratory researcher Red Jones said in a statement
“Computer simulations showed an unguided bullet under real-world conditions could miss a target more than a half mile away (1,000 meters away) by 9.8 yards (9 meters), but a guided bullet would get within 8 inches (0.2 meters), according to the patent.”
EXACTO, which is mostly focused on nighttime sniping at the moment, could be sold to military, law enforcement, and civilians, according to the researchers at Sandia.
Photo via Sandia Labs/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0; used with permission)

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