Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lockheed Martin to continue One Shot program

Electro-optics specialists at the Lockheed Martin Mission Systems & Sensors (MS2) segment in Akron, Ohio, are continuing work on electro-optical technology to enable snipers to hit targets with their rifles at long ranges with only one shot in crosswind conditions, under terms of a $6.9 million contract awarded Thursday from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va.

This work is Phase 2E of the DARPA One-Shot program, which was begun in 2007 by Lockheed Martin MS2. In Phase 2E, Lockheed Martin will develop a field-testable prototype observation, measurement, and ballistic calculation system that enables snipers to hit targets with the first round, under crosswind conditions, up to the maximum effective range of the weapon.

For key enabling technologies of the One-Shot program, see Fiber lasers are key enabling electro-optical technologies for One-Shot program's sniper targeting system.

DARPA released a broad agency announcement (DARPA-BAA-10-67) for this work last May. Lockheed Martin experts will develop a system to provide day and night direct observation of the target, measure everything that influences a bullet in flight, and rapidly calculate and display the aim point offset and expected crosswind variability in the shooters rifle scope.

The system will use technologies to operate over a range of visibilities, atmospheric turbulence, scintillation, and environmental conditions. Lockheed Martin will deliver 15 operational and field-hardened systems, with options for as many as 100 additional units.

In the first phase of the One-Shot program, Lockheed Martin developed a brassboard down-range system that measured average downrange crosswind, range to target, spotter scope position, target heading, air temperature, pressure, and humidity to calculate the ballistic solution for a 0.308 bullet at ranges as far as 3,600 feet.

Although the brassboard system improved the first-round hit probability, its size, weight, and power (SWaP) were inadequate, the engagement range too short for the newest sniper weapons, and could not be used with standard rifle scopes.

Lockheed Martin's objective is to deliver 15 field-testable and hardened prototype systems by October 2011 that provides the capability to profile downrange crosswind and range to target in near real time, at longer ranges, and improved probability of a first round hit.

The system's integrated spotter scope (ISS) should measure crosswinds, maximum effective range of the weapon, temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, cant and pointing angles, and GPS coordinates, as well as allow direct day and night observation of targets with continuous updates of the aim point offset corrections, with no alignment verification of the laser/crosswind optics to the spotting scope necessary.

The rifle scope also should communicate the aim point offset and expected crosswind variability to the rifle scope using a wired or wireless data link.

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