A bullet that rapidly realigns trajectory to ensure it always hits its target has been perfected.
Researchers working for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the U.S Department of Defense have perfected the technology that ensures a bullet fired from a gun will always hit the target, even if the target isn’t steady. Dubbed “homing bullets,” these projectiles can self-steer their way to the target.
The video shows how even an amateur shot can hit a moving target during a round of live-fire tests. While the technology has been in the development phase for about a year now, the video shows its most successful test run yet, writes DARPA.
“This video shows EXACTO rounds maneuvering in flight to hit targets that are moving and accelerating. EXACTO’s specially designed ammunition and real-time optical guidance system help track and direct projectiles to their targets by compensating for weather, wind, target movement and other factors that can impede successful hits.”
The project, imaginatively named Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance or EXACTO, was initially commissioned to improve the success rate of long-distance shots. The project members worked on perfecting the ability to hit the targets, which were typically in motion or trying to evade getting hit. With the technology, sharpshooters can now confidently hit the mark even if it is about two kilometers away.
The technology is similar to heat-seeking missiles that rapidly alter trajectory depending on the dynamically altering position of the target. The target is initially marked with a laser light. Each four-inch bullet has an advanced miniaturized optical sensor embedded in its nose cone that detects and “pairs” with the laser. Once the sniper is aware of the position of the target relative to the bullet, he or she can make adjustments to the bullet’s trajectory by operating tiny motors fitted inside the bullet, shared Red Jones, one of the team members behind EXACTO.
“We can make corrections 30 times per second. That means we can over-correct, so we don’t have to be as precise each time.”
The developers of the technology maintain that the trajectory-altering bullet will significantly cut down on casualties by taking out only the sniper’s intended targets. However, they are rightly concerned about the bullets landing in the wrong hands, as there appears to be a rumor that the technology might be sold to recreational hunters.
[Image Credit | Uber Review, DARPA]