Smart Bullets Guide Themselves To Designated Targets

By January 31, 2012

Engineers at Sandia National Labs have developed a prototype of a whole new breed of a dart-like bullet which has the ability to navigate itslef to a laser-designated target.  Sandia researchers Red Jones and Brian Kast and their colleagues believe that their patented self-guided bullet is the future of precision guided weaponry, which traditionally has been limited by larger weapons like aircrafts, assault vehicles and naval vessels.

“We have a very promising technology to guide small projectiles that could be fully developed inexpensively and rapidly,” Jones said in a press release  Monday.

Small enough to fit small-caliber firearms, like those your average law enforcement officer carries,a precision bullet has the ability to navigate itself to targets more than a mile away. While it may fit the gun of a law enforcement officer, the bullets are WAY out of any city’s budget, but the four inch prototype still proves the technology’s precise potential.

Sandia notes they are seeking a private partner to complete prototype testing and while there has been initial success testing their prototype in computer simulations and field tests, there are still obstacles to overcome.

While engineering issues remain, “we’re confident in our science base and we’re confident the engineering-technology base is there to solve the problems,” he said.

A tiny light-emitting diode, or LED, attached to a self-guided bullet at Sandia National Laboratories shows a bright path during a nighttime field test that proved the battery and electronics could survive the bullet's launch. (Photo courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories)

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